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Clinton N.H. Office Hostage-Taker Escapes

Manchester, n.h. — A man who took hostages at a Hillary Rodham Clinton presidential campaign office in 2007 escaped from a minimum-security correctional facility yesterday, authorities said.

Leeland Eisenberg was discovered missing during a head count yesterday afternoon at the Calumet Transitional Housing Unit in Manchester, state Department of Corrections spokesman Jeff Lyons said.

Eisenberg was sentenced in May 2010 to 3 ½ to 7 years for probation violations. The 52-year-old would have been eligible for parole in August.

Once he is found, he will be charged with escape, a felony punishable by 3 ½ to 7 years in prison, Lyons said. Eisenberg isn’t considered armed.

Eisenberg spent about two years behind bars for the November 2007 siege at Clinton’s Rochester campaign office in which he claimed to have a bomb. No one was hurt in a five-hour standoff and the bomb turned out to be road flares.

At his arraignment in that case, public defender Randy Hawkes portrayed Eisenberg as a man at the end of his rope emotionally after being repeatedly turned down when he sought psychiatric help.

Eisenberg “heard voices and saw a movie in his head telling him he had to sacrifice himself” to shine light on the flaws in the health care system, Hawkes said.

Eisenberg was released on probation in November 2009. His first violation occurred soon after his release, when he failed to charge his monitoring bracelet. He was incarcerated in January 2010 after failing to take mandatory alcohol breath tests.

In February 2010, he cut off his electronic monitoring bracelet and fled, a day after being given a last chance at freedom by a judge who released him despite multiple probation violations. He was found in his Dover apartment the next day.

Eisenberg’s long criminal record also includes two rape convictions.

He was sentenced to 10 years for rape in Worcester, Mass., in 1985 but escaped the next year and committed another rape, prosecutors said. He was sentenced to 11 to 20 years for that. He was released from prison in March 2005.