Suspect seen on roof of state psychiatric facility prior to escape: Source

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – The search continues for a stabbing suspect who broke out of the state’s psychiatric facility in Kaneohe on Sunday afternoon.

A driver witnessed Andrew Schmitke’s escape about 12:30 p.m.

It’s believed the 29-year-old used a chair to climb up on a gazebo before making his way onto the roof of one of the units and hopping a fence. He then disappeared into the brush.

Law enforcement sources say the suspect had recently talked to staff about escaping, allegedly saying all he would have to do is hop the fence.

By all appearances, nothing seemed out the ordinary at the hospital on Monday morning.

But along the perimeter of the property the manhunt continued into its second day.

“It’s disturbing and frustrating, made worse by the fact that they haven’t found the guy yet,” said state Sen. Jarrett Keohokalole, who represents the district where the hospital is located.

He said the incident is why the state Legislature approved a new $160 million state-of-the-art psychiatric facility. Construction on the hospital was completed nearly a year ago, but it remains empty.

Officials say a variety of issues are preventing patient admissions. Things like needed repairs or modifications and a safety plan.

“This isn’t good enough,” Keohokalole said. “We need to get the folks who are most concerning at the state hospital campus into the higher security facility as soon as possible.”

Records show Schmitke has more than 50 cases against him, ranging from traffic tickets to assault for a stabbing last July.

He was committed to the State Hospital in December after a judge found he was mentally unfit for trial.

He was due back in court Tuesday.

“We need everyone to be informed,” Keohokalole said. “Keep a look out for this person. Obviously don’t approach him if you see him. Contact police as soon as you can.”

Schmitke is 5-foot-7 and weighs 150 pounds. He has blue eyes and and a recently shaved head. He was last seen wearing gray sweatpants, a blue t-shirt and slippers.

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