PD: Wife helped sex offender escape

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Thomas Reischmann By Jennifer Thomas Thomas Reischmann By Jennifer Thomas
Bonnie Reischmann By Jennifer Thomas Bonnie Reischmann By Jennifer Thomas

TEMPE, Ariz. -- A convicted felon is back in custody after he escaped from church and led police on a manhunt Sunday and now his wife has been arrested for helping him.

Thomas Reischmann, 54, served time in prison for kidnapping, rape and aggravated assault.

He's been a court-ordered patient of the Arizona State Hospital in Phoenix since 2008 where he is required to stay until he is mentally fit to be released.

His status in the "least restrictive alternative program" allowed him to leave the facility for certain outings, something he had been doing for several weeks "without incident."

On Sunday morning, Reischmann, who was escorted by a member of the hospital staff, was dropped off at the Abiding Savior Community Church in Tempe to meet family members for a service.

Officials say the staff member went to drop off the car and when that hospital employee returned, Reischmann was gone.

Police say Reischmann ran on foot in an unknown direction. Officials say Reischmann has a "high potential for violence," based on his past.

Reischmann was caught some 10 hours later less than two miles away from the church near the intersection of Hayden and McKellips roads in Tempe.

Reischmann faces a misdemeanor charge of escape.

Tempe police detectives arrested Reischmann's wife, Bonnie, Sunday night at a Scottsdale Wal-Mart after learning that she aided in his escape.

She reportedly admitted waiting down the street from the church for him. She said he ran up to the car and they drove off.

Police said Bonnie Reischmann also admitted renting a vehicle for her husband and a motel room in Mesa.

Reischmann said she and Thomas were only at the motel room for a short time when police continued to call her and she became frustrated, according to police spokesman Charles Cobbs. She met with police but admitted lying to avoid being arrested.

She is being held on charges of hindering and providing false information to law enforcement officials.