The Latest: Psychiatric wards boost security after escape

The Latest on the escape of two men from a psychiatric facility in Washington state (all times local):

2:35 p.m.

Security is being enhanced at Washington state psychiatric hospitals in the wake of an escape by two patients at Western State Hospital.

Meanwhile, the Department of Corrections has taken custody of one man who was recaptured on Friday. He is being held at the Airway Heights Corrections Center in eastern Washington.

Officials at the Washington Department of Social and Health Services say they are focused on enhancing security in the civil commitment portion of the hospital in Lakewood.

On Wednesday, two patients escaped after being moved from the criminal section of the hospital to the civil commitment ward.

One was caught the next day, but the more dangerous man, Anthony Garver, was not recaptured until Friday night across the state in Spokane.

State officials say two other patients took “unescorted leaves” from the hospital during the manhunt. One was on an escorted outing on campus and has not been found.

Another had been approved for discharge and is awaiting community placement but did not return from a visit to a fast-food restaurant. He was found by Seattle police on Saturday.


12:14 p.m.

The Washington sheriff’s office that captured a man who had escaped from a psychiatric hospital gives much of the credit to a canine officer named Gunnar.

Spokesman Mark Gregory of the Spokane sheriff’s office says the capture of Anthony Garver on Friday night could have easily gone sideways without Gunnar’s help.

Gregory said Saturday morning that the two human officers did their job, but Gunnar was the key to capturing Garver without injury to any of the humans.

Garver is being held in the Spokane jail under a U.S. marshal warrant.

Kathy Spears of the Washington Department of Social and Health Services expects to have an update early Saturday afternoon about what will happen next to Garver.

An official at the Washington Department of Corrections says all the agencies will continue to work together to figure out what the next steps will be.

Garver, who is accused of torturing a woman to death, escaped from the psychiatric hospital Wednesday night.

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