Accused rapist escapes from Arkansas State Hospital

Local News
James Barrett 8-12-18_1534178280149.JPG.jpg

An accused rapist has escaped from Arkansas State Hospital in Little Rock, according to police.

James Barrett, 33, went missing around 6:30 p.m. Saturday, and a manhunt has been ongoing since then.

Rachel Longfellow, a resident who lives near the hospital, was shaken by the news.

“To get the news that this had happened just a couple blocks down the road just makes you question things immediately turned around to make sure our door was locked so,” she said.

“It’s very worrisome,” resident Michael Keddie said.

Neighbors near the hospital are keeping an eye out for Barrett.

“Someone who is in confinement and can get out of that confinement is very troubling,” Keddie said.

Arkansas State Hospital Police have not released how Barrett managed to escape.

“It’s a little bit weird as a neighbor being so close by,” Longfellow said.

According to online court documents, a State Hospital doctor last December wrote that Barrett suffers from PTSD along with other diagnoses and references symptoms related to trauma experienced during an Afghanistan deployment.

He’s been in custody fighting a rape charge out of Faulkner County since 2015.

Greenbrier Police say he lived there when the alleged rape occurred. Greenbrier Chief of Police wouldn’t comment on the case, but said Barrett ran from them back then and was found in Texas.

“Everyone and anyone could be in danger,” Keddie said.

Online court records reflect Barrett was supposed to be back in a Faulker County courtroom on Monday.

 Police say there have been some reported sightings of Barrett, but he is still not in custody.

Anyone who sees him is asked to call local police or the Arkansas State Hospital Police.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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