UPDATED: Missing Kamloops psych patient found in Invermere
Ashley Patrick Koftinoff has been located by Mounties in the Columbia Valley.
The 37-year-old was arrested at about 2 p.m. today (July 19) outside a fast-food restaurant in Invermere.
He is in custody in Invermere, pending a transfer to a secure mental-health facility.
Three days after being Tasered during a psychotic episode in which he threatened to behead cops, a Kamloops psychiatric patient is on the lam — prompting police to issue a rare public-safety alert.
Kamloops RCMP Staff Sgt. Grant Learned said 37-year-old Ashley Patrick Koftinoff failed to return to the Hillside Psychiatric Centre, next to Royal Inland Hospital, after being released on an hour-long pass on Monday, July 16.
Koftinoff — described by Learned as "violent, mentally unstable and suicidal" — is a white man, standing six feet tall and weighing 208 pounds. He has a stocky build and short brown hair, with brown eyes and a fair complexion.
Following the Friday, July 13, Taser incident, police described Koftinoff as "muscular."
"The RCMP is asking anyone who sees Koftinoff to contact their local police and warn members of the public to not approach or attempt to apprehend Koftinoff," Learned said.
Court records list Koftinoff as "in custody" on an outstanding threats charge from Castlegar.
That charge was laid in May.
Learned said he was not sure "by what mechanism" Koftinoff arrived at Hillside.
Paul Dagg, the Interior Health Authority's medical director for tertiary mental-health services, said he couldn't comment on specifics, but noted psychiatric hospital staff often work closely with police and other justice officials.
"We work with the police in situations where somebody is in custody," he said.
"That person may be here awaiting their charges.
"We'll often, at that point, talk to the police about if it's better for somebody to be in jail or in a facility."
Dagg said such a patient would be treated like any other — including temporary leaves from the facility, if approved.
"It would be the same thing," he said.
According to Dagg, patients are only released from Hillside on temporary passes if they are determined to pose little to no risk to the public.
"Any person for whom there is a high risk of violence, we would not let them out on passes," he said.
"We make decisions on passes based on our assessment of that person at that moment in time."
Koftinoff has a lengthy criminal history dating back to at least 2004, including convictions for violent and property-related crimes.
He is due to appear in Castlegar provincial court on Wednesday, July 18, on charges of trafficking in a controlled substance and threats.
He was arrested on Dec. 15, 2011, after a four-month undercover investigation by Castlegar Mounties targeting that city's drug dealers.
Anyone with information on Koftinoff's whereabouts can call Kamloops RCMP at 250-828-3000 or 911.