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Court documents: Arkansas therapist person of interest in patient's contraband case

The Arkansas State Hospital Police Department released these two photos of a doctor and involuntarily committed patient who fled the state mental hospital on Tuesday without prior permission. (Photo: KATV)

An arrest warrant for an Arkansas State Hospital psychologist who fled with a patient this week alleges she possibly gave contraband to the patient before they left the hospital.

The warrant issued for Michelle Messer is for the offense of aiding an unauthorized departure, a misdemeanor.

Authorities say surveillance footage showed Messer enter the hospital's forensic unit, walk out with Chapin and drive away in her vehicle at approximately 8:20 a.m. Tuesday.

According to court documents, Chief Perry Wyse with the Arkansas State Hospital Police Dept. says Messer was an alleged person of interest after Chapin was found with a cell phone and a vaping machine. In a meeting with the chief and other officers, Messer denied knowing anything about the contraband.

According to Wyse, Messer was ordered to have no contact with Chapin following the meeting and was told she needed to go to her office and wait there until her supervisor arrived.

The chief said Messer left his office, went to Chapin's unit, and waited for him to walk by the door where she was standing. She then opened the door, had Chapin follow her, and left the hospital grounds, according to police.

Court records show Chapin was arrested in Eureka Springs in September 2014 on charges of attempted kidnapping and drug possession after he told police that God had instructed him to abduct and rape a woman.

In the arrest warrant, Wyse said given Chapin's past criminal history, his escape "causes great concern for the community safety and the safety of Michelle Messer."


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