Wildrose wants details on escape at psychiatry centre

The Wildrose Party justice critic says the public has a right to know what procedures are in place when it comes to escorted outings at psychiatric centres.

A man staying at the Southern Alberta Forensic Psychiatry Centre managed to escape Friday night.

Calgary police say health officials called them around 8:30 p.m. saying a man walked away.

Alberta Health Services is not releasing many details and will only say the man escaped while on a supervised outing.

Police say he took a cab to the Travellers Inn hotel, located along 16th Avenue NW.

Co-owner Sukhi Cheema says Ranjit Singh signed in under his own name and paid for three nights with his debit card. But shortly after, police showed up.

"After five minutes, I see lots of police maybe 10, 20 cars here and say 'oh something happened,'" Cheema said.

Police arrested him at the hotel and took him back to the psychiatric facility.

"Police were prepared for worst thing, but he was very nice he just put his hand up and came out and handed himself to the police," Cheema explained.

Ranjit Singh was charged with second-degree murder for the death of his father in 2009, but was found not criminally responsible and was ordered to stay at the Southern Alberta Forensic Psychiatry Centre.

Alberta Health Services wouldn't say what the protocols are regarding escorted visits, but says it will be reviewing the incident.

Wildrose MLA Shayne Saskiw says that's a problem.

"That's baloney of course on this individual case they don't need to release specific private information, but of course they can release the protocols that are in place for psychiatric patients, particularly those that are or have been dangerous in the past,” Saskiw says. "The minister of health should really come forward and put forward a protocol for the psychiatric patients, this is dealing with public safety and security, so it should be a combination of the minister of health as well as the minister of justice to ensure that albertans are protected in these types of situations."

According to AHS, this is the first time a patient being held under the 'not criminally responsible designation' at the Southern Alberta Forensic Psychiatric Centre has escaped since it opened in 2005.