Man who fled from hospital is recaptured

From the Salem Statesman Journal, September 21, 2011

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State police on Tuesday recaptured an Oregon State Hospital forensic patient who escaped from the Salem psychiatric facility on Sept. 3, bolting from staff supervision while on a group walk.

Matthew Ingle, 21, was taken into custody without incident at a Sandy-area residence around noon, police said.

A tip received Tuesday by state police detectives led them to the undisclosed home where Ingle was found and arrested.

Ingle was transported to the Marion County jail, where he was being held on an outstanding escape warrant.

No other arrests have been made while detectives continue to investigate how Ingle escaped and what outside help he might have received.

Ingle escaped around 9:30 a.m. Sept. 3 while on a supervised walk with patients and staff at the hospital campus in central Salem. Hospital officials said he ran ahead of the group and jumped into a waiting car.

In the wake of the escape, the hospital is conducting an ongoing review of privileges that allow criminally committed patients to take on-campus walks and other outings as part of their treatment, hospital spokeswoman Rebeka Gipson-King said Tuesday.

The state hospital houses more than 300 forensic patients who were judged guilty, except for insanity, of crimes ranging from misdemeanors to murder. By law, they were sent to the hospital for treatment instead of to state prisons or county jail.

Last week, hospital staff members examined the medical files of each “guilty except for insanity” patient “to make sure that they all had their privileges at the right level,” Gipson-King said. “So now, we are looking at the policies and procedures themselves.”

Ingle was court-committed to the state hospital forensic program in November 2009 after he was found guilty except for insanity of two counts of second-degree manslaughter in connection with a double-fatal traffic crash in Clackamas County.

Ingle reportedly was suffering from schizophrenic delusions when he ran a red light west of Sandy and slammed into another car.

The driver of the other vehicle, Pamela Benson, and her daughter, Clarice, 11, both were killed.

On the day of the crash, Ingle reportedly had taken prescription anti-depression and anti-psychotic drug. He told an investigator after the accident that a spaceship might have “locked on” to the steering wheel of his 1987 Toyota 4Runner, according to press accounts.

Hospital policy review

The Oregon State Hospital is conducting an ongoing review of policies and procedures governing patient outings, said hospital spokeswoman Rebeka Gipson-King.

The internal review follows the escape of a patient who fled from a supervised walk on Sept. 3 and remained at large until Tuesday, when he was caught by state police.

“Any time that we have an incident, we make sure that we go over all of our policies and procedures to make sure that they are meeting our safety and security needs for both the community and our patients,” Gipson-King said. “We’re still in that review process.”

READ – Mental hospital escapee found, arrested at Sandy home, Sandy Post, 9 21 2011

Mental patient tells KGW hospital was ‘scary’

From KGW.com, September 22, 2011

Convicted killer of two and recently-captured inmate Matthew Ingle said Wednesday that he regrets escaping from the Oregon State Hospital and fears returning there.

Ingle, 21, raced to a waiting car Sept. 3 while on a supervised walk on the hospital grounds. He was free until his capture in Sandy Sept. 20.

In an exclusive interview with KGW, Ingle said he escaped because he was scared and didn’t know what else to do.

“I just was scared in that hospital, I thought I’d never get out. [I was] dealing with so many different doctors and so many different diagnosis,’ ” he said.

In 2009, Ingle was high on drugs when he ran a stop sign in Clackamas County and killed Pam Benson, 42, and her daughter Clarice, 11. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison but has been in the mental hospital for treatment.

He said that prior to the escape, he sent a few items home at a time. He also raised the public’s fury when it was revealed after his escape that he had posted his intentions, profanely, on his Facebook page. He also described how much he hated the hospital.

“It was a terrible decision to leave that hospital,” he said. “I just wanted to see my family and once I left, I couldn’t and I almost turned myself in and instead, I let myself get caught.”

Ingle said that after his escape he realized that visiting his family would be impossible. He knew police would be waiting for him.

He said he camped out for about a week, then moved around to several houses. When police came for him in Sandy, they had their guns drawn, Ingle said. Once they realized he was unarmed, they holstered their weapons.

Ingle said he thinks often about Benson’s husband.

“That was his child and wife,” Ingle said, “Even if something happened to one of my best friend’s kids–who I know, and got to babysit and watch–it breaks me apart.”

Until the court system can sort out the charges related to his escape, he will remain the Marion County jail.

“I was scared in that hospital,” he said, “and still aim to go back, when I have to go back there.”