UPDATE: Ashley Patrick Koftinoff, a 37-year-old Castlegar man who suffers from mental illness and was presumed dangerous after failing to return from a one hour pass from Hillside Psychiatric Centre in Kamloops, has been found safe and sound.
"He was taken into custody without incident in Invermere," said Castlegar RCMP Sgt. Laurel Mathew.
Police are asking residents to exhibit caution, compassion and common sense, should they see or encounter 37-year-old fugitive Ashley Patrick Koftinoff, who escaped from Hillside Psychiatric Centre in Kamloops on Monday. and is thought likely to return home to the Castlegar area.
Castlegar RCMP Sgt. Laurel Mathew acknowledged the very real possibility that Koftinkoff may be violent if off his medication, as was stated in a police press release calling the man, "violent, mentally unstable and suicidal", but she said that doesn't mean he should be treated poorly.
"We're dealing with a mental illness, so there's room for compassion and empathy," she said. "Of course, the first concern is always public safety, so we ask that people please not approach him - but he's a Castlegar guy, and we all know him, and we all take care of him."
She said Koftinkoff is well-known to Castlegar police, who are concerned about the man's safety after he failed to return from a one-hour pass from his Kamloops psychiatric unit.
"I was sure he'd be here when I came to work Monday morning, and I'm concerned that he hasn't shown up," she said. "I can't comment as to his mental status right now ... but something has obviously happened and he needs to be safely back where he can get medication and help."
This all comes after an incident Friday in which, " ... medical staff at the Hillside Psychiatric Centre sought refuge behind a security barrier and called for police assistance when he was reported to have suffered a violent psychotic episode, was destroying property in the unit and was threatening to harm the medical staff. Several patrol officers and a police dog handler responded and was force to use a Tazer to safely subdue the violent patient," according to Staff Sgt. Grant Learned.
Mathew urged any residents who see Koftinkoff to call the detachment at 250-365-7721, or to contact 9-1-1.
He is described as being a white male, 183 cm (6 feet) weighing 94 kg (208 lbs). He has a stocky build, short brown hair, brown eyes and a fair complexion. He wast seen wearing black jeans, blue shirt and camouflaged toque. This is the same toque that is pictured in the image and he apparently wears it all the time.