Dorothea Dix patient caught after brief escape from Bangor hospital

By Dawn Gagnon, BDN Staff
Posted Nov. 30, 2011, at 10:20 a.m.

BANGOR, Maine — A patient at Dorothea Dix Psychiatric Center who escaped Tuesday evening from a Bangor hospital was located less than two hours later by a Brewer police officer.

Ananda Cory, 36, was in the custody of the Aroostook County Jail on a theft charge and had previously been transported to Dorothea Dix. He left the emergency room at St. Joseph Hospital shortly after 6 p.m., according to an alert the Maine State Police issued asking area law enforcement agencies to keep an eye out for the escapee.

Cory had been taken to the hospital after complaining of chest pain and left on foot. He was seen on Center Street, heading toward downtown Bangor, clad in dark blue sweats and a tan jacket.

It was not clear Wednesday night if Cory was under the supervision of a law enforcement officer or a psychiatric staff member before he escaped.

Dorothea Dix Superintendent Linda Abernethy was not available for comment late Wednesday afternoon.

St. Joseph Hospital spokeswoman Bethany McKnight said early Wednesday evening that while federal confidentiality laws prevented her from addressing specifics related to Tuesday’s incident, patients who are under arrest are accompanied by law enforcement officers when they visit the hospital’s Emergency Department.

Those who are inpatients are accompanied by psychiatric personnel, she said.

The standard of practice for people who are outpatients of Dorothea Dix and similar facilities varies according to patients’ individual needs, she said. Some are admitted back to the psychiatric center’s care and others are allowed to leave on their own volition. There is also a range of alternatives in between.

Brewer police confirmed Tuesday night that the missing patient was found in Brewer and returned to Dorothea Dix without further incident.

Cory’s escape was at least the second this year involving a patient at Dorothea Dix.

On the evening of June 27, murder suspect William Hall, 29, became the focus of an intense manhunt after he scaled a fence around an outside smoking area on the grounds of the psychiatric hospital.

Hall had been undergoing an evaluation at the psychiatric hospital since shortly after his arrest in connection with the June 9 death of Melvin F. Abreu, 28. He is accused of strangling Abreu and then throwing him out of his second-story window at 96 Fourth St. in Bangor.

Hall’s escape triggered a search involving personnel from the Bangor Police Department, Maine State Police and the Penobscot County Sheriff’s Department, some of whom used tracking dogs. They searched for Hall through the night.

Hall, who has an extensive criminal history, was captured and charged with escape the next morning in Brewer , where he wound up after swimming across the Penobscot River. He had been on the lam for 14 hours.

Hall’s escape raised concerns in the community about Dorothea Dix’s ability to house dangerous criminals and prompted a security review.

Late last month, Hall pleaded not guilty to the June killing and the escape from Dorothea Dix. He currently is being held without bail in the maximum security section of the Penobscot County Jail.

CORRECTION:

An early version of this story contained a misspelled last name. Ananda Cory escaped from St. Joseph Hospital, not Corey.

http://bangordailynews.com/2011/11/30/news/bangor/dorothea-dix-patient-caught-after-brief-escape-from-bangor-hospital/ printed on September 19, 2014