Man walks away from psychiatric rehab center

ST. LOUIS – A man who walked away from a mental health facility Thursday morning has turned himself in.

Debra Walker with the Office of Public Affairs for the Missouri Department of Mental Health says the man walked away without authorization from St. Louis Psychiatric Rehabilitation Center on Arsenal in south St. Louis. Officials with the center were working with law enforcement to locate the man, whose name was not released.

Schron Jackson, a spokesperson for the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, says they were contacted at 10:22 a.m. for a report of a 35-year-old man who had escaped the facility from a court-ordered confinement due to a charge of first-degree assault on a law enforcement officer and armed criminal action. She would not release the man's name or a description.

The unidentified man was last seen walking to his on-campus job, but he never showed up to work. It's not clear whether the man was being escorted or was allowed to walk by himself.

Shortly after 5 p.m. NewsChannel 5 learned the man called police and turned himself in.

This is the second walk away from the facility in less than a month. The first was under a different set of circumstances, but a spokesperson says they will do a security assessment to make sure things like this don't continue to happen.

Houses line the streets surrounding the facility, and there is a school about a block away. One neighbor says she is frustrated that the state isn't alerting people about these cases.

"Years ago when they had the old place, before they built this one, it was flat. You knew when people were out because you seen the guards going after them and the police would come. But now you really don't see any of that stuff," said the woman, who wanted to stay anonymous. "It's scary. Somebody could come up to you or your children and carjack their car or do anything to get away."

The state's spokesperson says patients at the facility have varying levels of freedom on the campus.
Some can walk around freely while others have to be escorted.


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