Convicted Madonna stalker who escaped hospital caught

LOS ANGELES Fri Feb 10, 2012 3:56pm EST

Robert Dewey Hoskins is shown in this undated photograph released to Reuters February 9, 2012 by the Los Angeles Police Department. REUTERS/LAPD/Handout

Robert Dewey Hoskins is shown in this undated photograph released to Reuters February 9, 2012 by the Los Angeles Police Department.

Credit: Reuters/LAPD/Handout

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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A man who was convicted in 1996 of stalking and threatening pop star Madonna was caught on Friday, one week after escaping from a Los Angeles-area mental hospital, police said.

Robert Dewey Hoskins was apprehended shortly before 9 a.m. after he was spotted walking down a street in the Los Angeles suburb of Long Beach, about 10 miles from Metropolitan State hospital, Long Beach police said in a written statement.

Authorities say Hoskins walked away unnoticed from the mental health facility in nearby Norwalk on February 3.

Long Beach police had been actively searching for Hoskins in the area based on comments he made to hospital staff prior to his escape, according to the statement.

He was taken into custody without injury or incident by a mental evaluation team and returned to the hospital, Long Beach Police said.

Hoskins was sentenced to 10 years behind bars in 1996 after being arrested for scaling a wall around the Madonna's home in the Hollywood Hills and threatening to slit her throat.

Madonna testified during trial that she had nightmares about the homeless man from Oregon after seeing him near her home in 1995.

The singer said her bodyguard told her Hoskins claimed she was supposed to be his wife, and "if he couldn't have me, he was going to slice my throat from ear to ear."

While Madonna was away from her home later that year, Hoskins scaled the perimeter wall of her property, jumped into her pool and was eventually shot by a security guard.

Upon his release from prison, Hoskins was sent to a California hospital. He was eventually released but arrested again in July 2011 and sent to Metropolitan State Hospital.

Police searching for Hoskins since his escape from the mental hospital had described him as highly psychotic with violent tendencies when not taking medication.

(Additional reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis)

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