WA mental patients resume some outings - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

WA mental patients resume some outings

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Phillip Arnold Paul Phillip Arnold Paul

MEDICAL LAKE, Wash. (AP) - The state has quietly resumed some field trips for mental health patients. Such trips were suspended last September when an patient who killed a Sunnyside woman in the 1980s escaped from the Spokane Interstate Fair.

The outings resumed in January, but no more than four patients can go on field trips at one time. Department of Social and Health Services director Susan Dreyfus says such trips must have a therapeutic benefit, adequate staff must be along and local law enforcement must be alerted.

Phillip Arnold Paul escaped during an outing for about 30 patients at the Spokane Fair last year. He was recaptured a few days later in Goldendale without incident.