COQUITLAM - For the second time in less than a week, a patient with unescorted day privileges at the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital in Port Coquitlam has gone missing from the facility.
But officials in charge of the hospital say the two missing men are not a danger to the public, and such incidents are rare.
Dr. Johann Brink, director of clinical services at the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital, suggested the hospital has stringent protocols in place to avoid such situations, adding 99.7 per cent of all public outings with patients are unproblematic.
"It is not common and it is unfortunate two have happened in this short period of time," he said.
"By the time they are granted unescorted community access, we are confident they are no longer acutely dangerous to the public."
On Thursday, Coquitlam RCMP issued a warrant for Gregory Owen Schleen, 49, who was last seen by a staff member at the hospital during the morning of May 23.
He was supposed to be at the Coast Cottages on the Riverview site later in the morning but never showed up.
Just a few days earlier, another patient at the hospital didn't return from an escorted day pass.
A warrant for David Fomradas, 34, was issued on May 20.
In both cases, the RCMP noted the patients' mental history and warned the public to not approach them, and instead call the police.
Fomradas is the man behind a bizarre carjacking in 2009 involving Vancouver actress Carly Pope.
Brink said the hospital has no control over police statements, but reiterated the hospital does not grant community access to people deemed dangerous by the hospital.
He also explained the process behind patients getting unescorted day passes, which includes six steps in total and a review by a committee at the hospital.
Every patient at the hospital starts at a basic level with no privileges.
From there, with the guidance of a team, they can apply to programs that involve supervision from two staff members, down to one staff member, and then access to hospital grounds.
If all goes well, they get opportunities for community outings with staff.
Brink noted finally, if there is a clear plan in place, the patient could apply for unescorted community access.
He argued community access is an integral part of the process for patients, but did suggest a review would take place in the case of the two incidents.
"We always need to be vigilant and try to ensure this sort of thing does not happen," Brink said.
Meanwhile, Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart wants answers from the hospital and plans to meet with officials in the near future.
He said the community wants to be supportive of the hospital, but suggested cases like the two missing men put that support at risk.
"It raises a lot of concerns from residents, and we're really looking for answers from the institution on what their criteria is and how they can manage this risk for communities," Stewart said.
He did suggest the hospital does a good job of letting the public know of situations once they happen.
In the case of Schleen, this is not the first time he's gone missing from the hospital, as he did so in 2009.
Schleen is described as Caucasian, standing six feet, four-inches tall and weighing 150 pounds.
He has blond hair and brown eyes, and was last seen wearing a yellow Hawaiian shirt and khaki shorts.
Police note Schleen has friends and family along the Sunshine Coast and on Vancouver Island.
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