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Opinion >  Letters

No escape necessary

The Spokesman-Review

I am extremely concerned and angry about the schizophrenic man who escaped from Eastern State Hospital’s care. During the Spokane fair, Phillip Paul was able to walk away from staff. The paper said an escaped killer was on the loose. Escaped? The man didn’t have to escape; he simply walked away.

Years ago I worked as a recreational therapist in a state hospital forensics unit. I participated in field trips like the one described above. I am thankful Eastern State is giving some patients this opportunity. What concerns me is Phillip is a killer who has previously escaped the state hospital. Just because the director said he was a “fairly model patient” for the past 10 years does not mean he should be allowed to go on a field trip with very minimal security – or, in my opinion, no security.

I am sickened by the fact that this man was allowed to go to a fair with massive amounts of people and simply slip away. Why was there not security for a man who strangled an elderly woman and continues to be dangerous? I hope the hospital learns something from this, and I hope the community takes a stand.

Robin Tenbrink



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