Man who fled state central hospital on Tuesday afternoon was found and taken into custody

DINWIDDIE – Authorities located the man who escaped from the central state hospital on Tuesday afternoon.

Richard Wilson Garrett returned to the hospital on Thursday and hospital staff notified police around 5 p.m. He was charged with escaping the facility and was taken into custody at the Merherrin River Regional Jail in Alberta. Officers currently do not know why he left or where he went. He will be taken to court on Monday.

“The courts and the lawyer nearby will deal with his mental health issues and try to get him back to where he needs to be, getting the help he needs. But due to the circumstances in which he left, it is was a violation of the law and therefore that is why we indicted him, ”said Dinwiddie deputy chief Major William Knott.


Authorities are looking for a man who they say escaped from the state central hospital on Tuesday afternoon.

According to the Dinwiddie Sheriff’s Office, Richard Wilson Garrett escaped hospital staff by leading them between buildings around 2:20 p.m. Tuesday. Garrett has a history of assault, the office said.

“He didn’t assault anyone to accomplish what he accomplished. Instead of getting in the van, he ran away. The hospital workers tried to follow him and call him back and he just continued. to run and disappeared into the woods, ”Dinwiddie’s said. Deputy Chief, Major William Knott.

He is a white male, about 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighing 165 pounds. He was last seen wearing a black jacket and black beanie.

The sheriff’s office said he was using tracker dogs to find him. Virginia State Police are also assisting in the search.

Richard Wilson Garrett

“I have an obligation to let the community know when something like this happens to spread the word and to let people know in case they see it or if he gets in touch with someone so that they can call us and we can call him back to the hospital where he needs to be, ”Knott said.

“We’re working on following up on all the tips. At this point, we don’t know where it is.”

On Facebook, some people reported seeing a man matching Garrett’s description hitchhiking on US Route 460. Several wrote that they found it strange as they rarely saw anyone. walk along this highway.

“We came back around 6:30 am-7am and didn’t see anyone, so [he] must have a ride, ”one posted.

Anyone who may have seen Garrett is urged to contact the Dinwiddie Sheriff’s Office at Anyone with information on Richard Garrett’s whereabouts should contact the Dinwiddie County Sheriff’s Office at (804) 469-4550 or his local law enforcement department.

Bill Atkinson (he / him / her) is the Daily Information Coach for USA TODAY’s Unified Central Southeast Region, which includes Virginia, West Virginia and central North Carolina. He is based in Petersburg, Virginia. Contact him at

Joyce Chu is the social justice reporter for The Progress-Index.

This article originally appeared on The Progress-Index: Authorities Found Man Who Escaped From Virginia Mental Hospital

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