Legislators question policies allowing dangerous criminal, now on the lam, to go on outing to county fair

‘Situation is outrageous, derelict,’ they say

In the wake of the breaking news yesterday about criminally insane murderer, Phillip Arnold Paul, escaping from chaperones while on an outing to the Spokane County Fair, Reps. Kirk Pearson, Matt Shea and Kevin Parker had this to say about the incident:

Rep. Kirk Pearson, R-Monroe, lead Republican on the House Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Committee:

“I could not believe what I was reading yesterday! While the facts are still coming to light, I question the decision-making and policies of state agencies responsible for public safety that allowed dangerous criminals access to locations that make escape possible, and put the public at grave risk.

“Why in the world would anyone take a mentally unstable individual, who violently murdered someone and is on medication, to a location that has large crowds, screaming kids, rides that throw off equilibrium, games that include shot guns and throw darts, and an exhibit with mirrors that distort bodies and frighten people? It is simply irrational.

“Reports today are telling us that the state Department of Health and Human Services is conducting an investigation into the policies that allow violent, insane criminals to roam around family-friendly events. However, I lay this squarely at the feet of the governor and will be asking her directly to address the policies and the people who put many innocent citizens in danger. I pray Mr. Paul is apprehended soon and no one is harmed.”

Rep. Matt Shea, R-Mead:

“It’s outrageous that security was so inept that Mr. Paul, who is officially regarded as ‘criminally insane,’ was able to just slip away from the group. Of more critical concern to me is the issue of why a vicious killer with a record of horrific, violent crime, was allowed into a family setting like the fairgrounds in the first place. You can’t come away with any opinion other than his escape reflects the height of official irresponsibility.”

Rep. Kevin Parker, R-Spokane:

“As a father of three small children, I do my job to protect them. It is the state’s duty to protect its citizens as well. The fact that someone who is mentally ill with a history of violence and trying to escape was taken on a field trip to a county fair is deplorable. The policies of this agency need to be examined with a fine-tooth comb.”

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For more information, contact: Bobbi Cussins, Public Information Officer: (360) 786-7252


Washington State House Republican Communications