Man caught after escaping from psychiatric center - WNEM TV 5

Man caught after escaping from psychiatric center

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CARO, MI (WNEM) -

A man is back in custody after authorities said he escaped from a psychiatric center. 

State police were called to the Caro Center about 10 a.m. on Aug. 13. That's in Tuscola County.

Investigators found 32-year-old Benjamin Jeffrey Denning after he ran from the facility into a wooded area. Denning was recently placed in the psychiatric center after a judge found him incompetent to stand trial for an armed robbery in Oakland County. 

Police and K9 units located the man about 12:30 p.m. just east of the airport south of M-81. He is now back in protective custody.

The Caro Center is a state-operated psychiatric center. It houses adults with serious mental illness, Alzheimer's or dementia, mental health and substance abuse disorders and those with post-traumatic stress disorder.

This isn't the first time a patient has escaped from the facility.

Since 2011, three patients have managed to flee from the center.

"Well, it's pretty scary. I live right down the road from [the center]," said Carol Irvine, resident.

Irvine lives a stone's throw away from the center.

"I think they need to hire more people and keep an eye on them more," Irvine said.

Another resident, Kathy Wright, is relieved Denning was found. She wants to see changes made at the Caro Center.

"Maybe they need to invest in a little more security out there," she said.

A spokesperson for MDHHS said the agency is reviewing the incident to ensure it does not happen again.

Meanwhile, Irvine hopes this is the last time someone escapes from the facility.

"I realize they have a little bit of rights, but if they're out and trying to harm somebody, they've got to keep the people safe," Irvine said.

Residents can sign up for Smart911 here.

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