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Mental Patient With History Of Threats Against Children Escapes From Santa Ana Psych Hospital

GARDEN GROVE ( — Garden Grove police, along with several other law enforcement agencies, were on the hunt Friday night for a dangerous mental patient who escaped from a Santa Ana psychiatric hospital earlier in the day.

[UPDATE Saturday 5:25 p.m.: Nguyen returned to the Royale Health Care Center about 4 p.m. Saturday. No word on where he was during the manhunt]

Norris Phuoc Nguyen, 23, a schizophrenic, left the Royale Health Care Center around 4:45 p.m., where he's been since December 2012.

In August 2011, he walked into the Westminster Police Department carrying an unloaded assault rifle and threatened to kill himself.

He later told police he just wanted to see if officers would shoot him when they were confronted.

Authorities said Nguyen repeatedly threatened to harm a specific teacher and children at the elementary school in Garden Grove he attended as a child. The suspect reportedly has a fascination with assault weapons and large knives.

Police have beefed up security around the school and have warned parents to be on alert.

"Mr. Nguyen has repeatedly made these threats. He has written manifestos and other writings that are extremely extensive and extremely descriptive," said Chief Kevin Raney. "I think every school child in Orange County could be at risk."

Nguyen is Vietnamese, 5 feet 8 inches tall, 150 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes.

He was last seen wearing a black hoodie, a white T-shirt, gray sweatpants and white shoes.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts was asked to call 911.

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