Fence upgrades seen as solution to mental health hospital escapes

Officials with the Texas Department of State Health Services are making some security changes to a mental health facility in Harlingen.

Two patients escaped from the Rio Grande State Center off Rangerville Road on Wednesdsay.

One man escaped during the morning and another patient escaped Wednesday night.

Crews were out on Thursday morning putting up a steel wire mesh on the fence.

A nude man climbed up a fence and used the railing to get on the roof of the facility during the first escape.

The man jumped in the waters of the Arroyo Colorado but authorities rescued him three miles downstream near McKelvey Park.

Hospital officials reported the second patient escaped in a similar manner around 9 p.m. Thursday.

Police found the second escaped patient about 30 minutes later at the Exxon off Ed Carey Drive and Expressway 77/83.

Christine Mann with TDSHS aid changes are being made to avoid further access to the roof.

Action 4 News asked if security measures needed to be changed at the facility.

Mann said that was not the case adding that in the last five years, they have only had a handful of escapes.

She said that the facility is safe.

Action 4 News also asked if the center is now under investigation for negligence following the two escapes.

Mann said that there was not an investigation.