Police chief mad he wasn't told about Ohio patient

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HEATH, Ohio (AP) -- A police chief said Friday that he's upset he hadn't been notified that a man charged with attempted murder was staying at a neighborhood nursing home, and he plans to meet with mental health officials to see what rules facilities must follow.

John Stroud, 53, of Portsmouth broke a window Thursday morning and escaped from the facility in Heath, about 35 miles east of Columbus, authorities say. After an all-day search, police captured him Thursday night in a wooded area about two miles away after they received a call about a prowler.

Heath police Chief Tony Shepherd said Friday that Stroud was ordered to stay at the Heath Nursing Care Center when he was released on bond.

Stroud pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity in April 2011 to attempted murder, felonious assault and misdemeanor inducing panic charges in Scioto County court in southern Ohio.

Stroud was released after posting $100,000 bail and is scheduled to go before a judge for a competency hearing on May 23. Messages seeking comment from his attorney, Stephen Rodeheffer, weren't immediately returned.

Portsmouth Daily Times archives show Stroud was accused of threatening to kill himself when sheriff's deputies went to his home in March 2011 to check on him, then firing a gun after a standoff of about four hours. Deputies returned fire, and Stroud was shot once in the knee, Scioto County Sheriff Marty Donini said.

Stroud, who has a long history of psychiatric problems, had been staying in a wing of the nursing home that has a secure door with a push button code, Shepherd said.

"He proved it wasn't that secure because he kicked a window out and there's no fence around it and there's no security staff there," Shepherd said.

The nursing home is about a block from an elementary school. Area schools closed Thursday as a precaution while authorities searched for Stroud.

Shepherd said his officers had been called to the nursing home before to deal with problems, and he was surprised no one had alerted authorities that Stroud was receiving medical care there.

"Yeah, I was pretty ticked because it had happened before," Shepherd said. "We've been called there on assaults, various other criminal acts, only to find out that they're on parole."

Shepherd said authorities once found that a man involved in an assault at the nursing home had just been released from prison after serving a 30-year sentence for murder.

"Nobody bothered to tell us," he said.

Heath Nursing Care Center said in a statement Thursday that Stroud was permitted by the court to receive care there.

The center said it wanted to make clear to its residents and their families that it does not have a psychiatric ward housing "dangerous individuals."

"Mr. Stroud had not been involved in any incidents with other residents or staff at the facility, nor had he attempted to leave in the past," the center's statement said.

Heath Nursing Care Center says its administration is conducting an internal investigation and wouldn't comment further.

Stroud was found Thursday night with many scrapes, Shepherd said. He was treated at a hospital and is being held at the Licking County Jail.

Shepherd said he and the mayor of Heath plan to meet Monday with mental health officials to educate themselves on nursing home rules when it comes to patients like Shroud who have criminal backgrounds.

"If we could have known he was there," Shepherd said, "we could have had his photograph and bio on hand, and it would have assisted us in locating him."