Home / National News / Hospital Working to Increase Security After Two Psych Patients Escaped


(LAKEWOOD, Wash.) — The Washington state psychiatric hospital where two dangerous patients escaped last week said Saturday it is working with law enforcement to increase security.

The changes at Western State Hospital were announced in a statement by Washington State Department of Social and Health Services, in which it also thanked law enforcement for capturing the two men.

“The hospital has restricted patient-earned privileges that allow them escorted and unescorted access to Western State Hospital grounds and off-campus excursions throughout the weekend as the hospital increases its security measures,” the statement said.

“The hospital’s security team has coordinated closely with law enforcement to organize additional patrols on campus,” it said. “Hospital staff are also focused on how to more securely serve higher risk populations in the civil commitment portion of the hospital.”

Anthony Garver and Alexander Adams escaped from the hospital Wednesday night. Adams was apprehended Thursday, and Garver was captured Friday evening, police said.

Garver, 28 — who was arrested in 2013 for first-degree murder and accused of torturing a woman to death, but found too mentally ill to stand trial — was captured in the woods near the Washington-Idaho border Friday, after being tracked down by a police dog, Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich tells ABC News.

As of Friday evening, Knezovich said Garver was under arrest and en route to a hospital, suffering from dehydration.

Adams, 59, who was apprehended Thursday in Des Moines, Washington, about 30 miles north of Western State Hospital.

Garver and Adams were last seen in the hospital’s dining hall Wednesday at 6 p.m., and hospital staffers learned they were missing at 7 p.m. and notified police.

Adams, who had been sent to the hospital to receive treatment on a domestic violence arrest, was spotted on a public bus at 10:30 p.m. “and inquired about how to get to the airport.” He was apprehended in Des Moines, Washington, “without incident,” according to Lakewood Police Lt. Chris Lawler. Lawler did not say who recognized Adams but did say that he was spotted as a result of the media attention to the case.

In a related incident, Washington state officials announced Friday that another patient went missing Wednesday from Western State Hospital — although officials were adamant about describing it as an “unauthorized leave” –not an “escape.”

Lt. Lawler of the Lakewood Police Department said Friday, “For those of you inquiring about another patient missing from WSH, it’s a person with ground privileges that failed to return. It’s somewhat common out there. It’s not an escape. We take reports and look for the person, but not like Garver or Adams unless there are special circumstances.”

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