Two days after an insane killer in Washington State escaped from a field trip organized by his mental hospital, the union that represents mental hospital workers said it had become concerned about the type of patients allowed to participate in such outings, reports the Seattle Times. Phillip Paul, 47, walked away from the Spokane County Fair during an outing last week with 30 other patients. Paul was captured Sunday. Patients must be cleared by a treatment team before they can go on trips to stores, parks, and other sites, said Dr. Rob Henry, director of forensic services at the hospital. They wear street clothing and staff members are required to keep each patient within eyesight at all times.
Paul’s inclusion in the field trip to the fair drew sharp criticism from Gov. Chris Gregoire and the union that represents hospital workers. Greg Davis, president of Washington Federation of State Employees Local 782, said the union has expressed concerns about public outings to hospital management during official and unofficial meetings. A judge ruled two weeks ago that Paul remained a threat to the public because of his aggressive behavior and his decreased awareness of his psychosis, the Spokane Spokesman-Review reported.