JSO: Violent mental patient managed to travel 15 miles after escape

JSO: Violent mental patient managed to travel 15 miles after escape

The Florida Department of Children and Families is investigating security at a locked mental health facility in Jacksonville, where an attempted murderer escaped on Wednesday.

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said Bamboo Flute Blanchard, who has violent tendencies, climbed the wall of an interior courtyard at Wekiva Springs Center in Southpoint, climbed onto the roof and ran away.

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A spokesperson for the Agency for Health Care Administration, which is in charge of Wekiva Springs Center’s license, said the situation is “under review.”

The JSO report on Blanchard’s escape said he used a stranger’s phone to call his father and tell him he wanted “suicide by police.”

That phone call came four years after Blanchard was acquitted of stabbing his father in the chest with a pocket knife, by reason of insanity.

The Alachua County Sheriff’s Office report said Blanchard’s little brother told deputies that his brother said, “I wonder what it would be like to take a life.”

Blanchard roamed around Duval County for about six hours.

A witness said he saw Blanchard on a “ratty bicycle.”

A NEPTUNE BEACH MAN HASN'T BEEN SEEN SINCE LAST WEDNESDAY, AND HIS FAMILY IS WORRIED FOR HIS SAFETY.

By the time Blanchard was caught in Jacksonville Beach, he managed to travel about 15 miles.

DCF spokesman John Harrell said it’s “extremely rare” for someone to walk away from a secured mental health facility, and the agency wants to get to the bottom of what happened.

On Wednesday, Wekiva Springs Center Business Development Manager Stella Bryskin said she wouldn’t answer Action News Jax’s questions until Thursday.

Action News Jax showed up to Wekiva Springs to find out who could.

An employee asked us to leave the property.

After calling Bryskin again on Thursday, she sent an emailed statement that did not answer any of our questions.

JSO officer pictured sleeping in a cruiser