Spokane County Fair makes changes after Phillip Paul debacle

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by KREM.com

KREM.com

Posted on June 18, 2010 at 10:43 AM

Updated Friday, Jun 18 at 5:50 PM

(SPOKANE) -- The director of the Spokane County Interstate Fair announced new security rules for the upcoming fair, following a criminally-insane killer's escape from the grounds during a supervised field trip to last year's event. 

Phillip Paul, 47, was deemed criminally-insane following a murder in Yakima County in 1987.  He was on a trip with other patients from Eastern State Hospital to the Spokane County Interstate Fair last September, when he escaped from workers' custody. Paul was caught days later on a rural road near Goldendale, Washington.

Friday morning, Fair Director Rich Hartzell said those who are criminally-committed to an institution, such as Paul, will no longer be allowed into the fair.  Other patients will be admitted, but no more than four at a time and they must have two chaperones.

Hartzell called last year's escape from the fair an isolated incident, and said the staff has since reviewed its communications policies.  He says there will be adequate security for this year's fair.

As for the event, the theme is "It's an AG-Venture".  The Spokane County Interstate Fair runs from Sept. 10th - 19th.

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