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Hsu is held under guard in Colorado hospital

September 08, 2007|Dan Morain | Times Staff Writer

Norman Hsu, benefactor to some of the nation's most powerful Democratic politicians, remained in a Colorado hospital under federal guard Friday after skipping a California court hearing related to his 15-year-old grand-theft conviction.

Hsu, 56, became ill Thursday while traveling by train in Grand Junction, Colo. Officials said he was able to leave the train under his own power. He was taken by ambulance to St. Mary's Hospital, where he was later arrested by FBI agents.

In a statement Friday, Hsu attorney James J. Brosnahan said: "In the last 36 hours, a great many friends of Norman Hsu have expressed concern about his mental health and physical well-being. We are very pleased and relieved that he is now being cared for. . . . The strain he has been under during the last week has been enormous and, perhaps, unbearable."

Hsu had flown from New York to Oakland early Wednesday, in time for his 9 a.m. hearing. When he failed to appear in San Mateo County court, Judge Robert D. Foiles issued a warrant for his arrest; the California attorney general's office requested FBI help in locating him.

It is not know when Hsu boarded the train for Denver. Shortly before noon local time Thursday, paramedics in Colorado Junction were called to assist an ill passenger.

St. Mary's spokesman Dan Prinster said Friday that the FBI contacted the hospital hours after Hsu was admitted and told officials: "You have a fugitive in your hospital, and we are coming to arrest him." Hospital administrators, Prinster said, had not called police.

According to the California attorney general's office, Hsu will appear before a federal magistrate judge in Colorado and be transferred back to California.

dan.morain@latimes.com

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