Hayward man, 25, leaves hospital, still missing after 3 weeks

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

SAN LEANDRO, Calif. – A 25-year-old Hayward man has been missing since last month and his family is asking for the public’s help to find him. 

Dennis Chau was seen leaving San Leandro Hospital on April 24 before he was seen for an ultrasound appointment. His family reports he does not have a mobile phone, or any money. 

“My mom and I went to San Leandro Hospital to talk to security and all they could tell me was he ran off,” his older brother Daniel Chau said on Monday. “They tried to chase after him, but we couldn’t catch him. “

Chau’s family shared that the missing 25-year-old has a recent diagnosis of schizophrenia, but he is not violent and is characterized as a kind and compassionate individual.   

His brother, cousin and family and friends have been using social media to get the word out. Between Facebook and other sites, they received messages of Chau being sighted, on Saturday in Hollister and on Monday in King City in Monterey County.  

This is not the first time Chau has been missing from home. A week before his most recent disappearance, he was gone for a week. But his family found him.

 “When we found him at the Dublin BART station, his feet were heavily blistered,” Daniel Chau said. 

He agreed to go with their cousin, Kyle Ma, to his house. There, he took a hot shower, ate food and rested. The next day, Daniel Chau said they took him to the emergency room in Hayward to be seen for the blisters on his feet as well as a psychiatric evaluation. 

According to Daniel Chau, his brother was originally taken to John George Psychiatric Hospital and was subsequently held on a 72-hour hold, which then got transferred to a two-week hold. 

It was during that time that he was taken to San Leandro Hospital for an ultrasound.  The family is not sure why he was scheduled for an ultrasound at the Alameda Health System hospital. 

A spokesperson at Alameda Health System that oversees San Leandro Hospital provided a written statement to KTVU, saying they couldn’t discuss the issue because of patient privacy.

The spokesperson added that many John George patients are in acute mental health crises that “can have heart-breaking impacts on their wellbeing, and the wellbeing of their entire families.” 

Daniel Chau described his brother as kind, sweet and gentle. 

“He’s never been violent,” he said. “He’s a graduate of Brown University, he’s a Gates Millennial scholar, so he has a full ride to college and any other education he’d want to pursue.”

According to Ma, every time they received a tip about a sighting, they seem to just miss him. 

“They told us on April 28 he was at Westfield Valley Mall, trying to shoplift,” Ma said. “They weren’t going to press charges, so they let him go, and removed the missing person’s report without even telling us.”

The family has been doing their own searching after receiving a tip from social media or the phone numbers on the flyer that was distributed around the region. 

Chau’s father is coming from Vietnam this week to help find his missing son. 

Frustrated with what they call a “fragmented system,” Daniel Chau said. “Whenever the police encountered Dennis, they never called us, even to just let us know he’s been seen, he’s OK.”

“I think we just need law enforcement to be more aware of situations like this,” Ma said. “Just driving around San Leandro and the Bay Area, there are so many homeless people with mental health issues, and I think the system can do a lot better than this. “

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.

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