Indo-Canadian Escapes Psychiatry Centre


CALGARY- 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.

Last year, Ranjit Singh who bludgeoned his father to death because he believed demons had taken him over, has been found not criminally responsible because of a mental disorder.

Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Sandra Hunt McDonald cited the expert testimony of two psychiatrists who concluded that Ranjit Singh, 31, was suffering from schizophrenia and was psychotic when he struck Harinder Singh, 60, in the back of the head as he slept on Dec. 7, 2009.

“I’m convinced the Crown has established proper foundation to make the finding that Ranjit Singh was not criminally responsible for the death of Harinder Singh by virtue of a mental disorder,” said Hunt McDonald.

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.

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.