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Tewksbury State Hospital stabbing suspect arrested, neighbors on edge after problems at facility

I-Team: Tewksbury State Hospital stabbing suspect arrested after manhunt
I-Team: Tewksbury State Hospital stabbing suspect arrested after manhunt 02:22

TEWKSBURY - After an all-night manhunt, Tewksbury police found a suspect in some woods along Lee Street where a neighbor spotted him and called 911. Brian Kobs is facing an attempted murder charge after a stabbing at Tewksbury State Hospital where he had been in a fight with someone he knew there.

It had neighbors on edge. "I think it's very concerning really," said Millie Henstrom, who lives down the street.

It's a state-run hospital with a large mental health patient population. Back in November, the WBZ I-Team looked into thousands of calls for police help there over the last three years, even though the facility has its own security staff. WBZ also dug into dozens of reports showing police searching for patients with violent criminal records wandering off the property, just like investigators say Kobs did this time.

In November, Tewksbury Police Chief Ryan Columbus said it put a strain on his department. "I'm not going to wait until something does happen. We've heard many, many times when there's a mental health crisis, and they randomly hurt somebody or worse," he said back then.

Kobs is a 39-year-old from Gloucester who had two outstanding warrants for alleged violent crimes in Boston. He now faces more charges including attempted murder after police finally found him a half-mile from the hospital. He has also been charged with two counts of assault on a police officer, breaking and entering and possession of a Class E drug.

Residents were relieved to hear the search was over. "When I come in, I close the door and the first thing I do is lock it," said neighbor Karen Ouellette. "I'm glad to hear all is well and they've been caught."

The hospital's CEO has said management is working to improve security, communication, and training. The chief said the situation had recently improved, until this latest incident. 

Kobs is being held without bail and is expected to be arraigned Tuesday in Lowell District Court.

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