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Escaped Mental Patient In Custody In Hagerstown

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HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) — Authorities in Hagerstown say an escaped mental patient with a history of arson is in police custody.

Police say they caught Muslim Ali Brunson, 33, on Wednesday morning.

Hagerstown police alerted the public on Tuesday that Brunson had escaped from the Thomas B. Finan Center in Cumberland. The state psychiatric facility includes patients with criminal histories.

Brunson was committed to the state Department of Health and Mental Hygiene in 2002 after he was found guilty but not criminally responsible for the arson of a home in Baltimore County.

Prosecutors have been fighting an order for his conditional release.

A health department spokesman tells The Herald-Mail newspaper the agency notified police after a patient walked away from the Finan Center Friday. He says the agency doesn’t release patients’ names.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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