LARNED, Kan. (KSNW) – Authorities in western Kansas say a Larned State Hospital inmate who escaped Monday is in custody.

The Garden City Police Department said Isaac Nathaniel Watts was found at the Hampton Inn located at 2505 Crestway Drive with a woman inside the room. The Garden City/Finney County SWAT team responded to assist, and Watts was later taken into custody.

Watts will be formally charged with ‘aggravated escape from custody’ once the investigation is completed.

Grant County Sheriff James Biddle tells KSN News that Watts was sent to Larned State Hospital for a mental evaluation after being held in Grant County.

Isaac N. Watts from 2006 (Courtesy: Grant County)

According to Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services, Watts walked away from the LSH crisis stabilization unit approximately at 9 p.m. wearing multiple layers of clothing, including blue jeans and a state-issued jean jacket. He was charged with kidnapping, attempted second-degree murder, domestic battery and criminal threat.

“I have been in constant contact with the superintendent and leadership team at Larned and am monitoring the progress of the situation each moment,” Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services Secretary Laura Howard said.

Under Kansas law, a mentally ill person who also lacks the capacity to make an informed decision concerning treatment is likely to cause harm to self or others, and whose diagnosis is not solely one of the following:

  • Alcohol or chemical substance abuse
  • Antisocial personality disorder
  • Intellectual disability
  • Organic personality syndrome
  • An organic mental disorder

LSH and KDADS officials are fully cooperating with law enforcement’s ongoing investigation. The governor and KDADS said they are accelerating plans for an independent security review.

Back in June, John Freeman Colt escaped Larned State Hospital. He was captured in late September in Utah. Three are accused of helping Colt escape. Investigators believe Colt planned his escape. He posed as a doctor and made his way past five secured doors and ultimately outside the gates. Part of his escape included getting a replica of a staff ID badge and dress clothes.