Arrest was déjà vu for Spokane deputy
Spokane Valley Police detective Roger Knight was "dumbfounded" when he learned Phillip Paul had escaped while on a field trip to the Spokane County Interstate Fair.
SPOKANE — Roger Knight was "dumbfounded" when he learned Phillip Paul had escaped while on a field trip to the Spokane County Interstate Fair.
The Spokane Valley Police detective had more cause than most people to be dismayed. Knight, 53, brought Paul in after he escaped his Eastern State Hospital handlers the first time, in 1990. Paul, 47, attacked him at the Spokane County Jail, shattering the deputy's shoulder.
When the call came Thursday that Paul was loose again, Knight was one of two available detectives.
Sunday morning, law enforcement aided by two planes and a helicopter began scouring a vast area of wilderness. By late afternoon, Knight had all but given up hope.
Spokane Valley detectives Knight, Bill Beeman and Mark Renz, driving an unmarked van, were told to return to the command post in Goldendale when they noticed a man — the only person they'd seen all day.
"We thought, 'Wouldn't it be funny if,' " Knight said.
It was Paul, so tired and dehydrated that he had been drinking his urine in the belief, Knight said, that doing so would counter the effects of his antipsychotic medication.
Paul said he was "done." He was far beyond recognizing the deputy he'd attacked nearly 19 years earlier, Knight said. He also believed he was being tracked by satellites from space.
While the detectives waited for other law enforcement, a car drove up. Paul's brother, Bruce Paul, and Bruce's wife had been told the search would focus on Paul's old stomping grounds and came at the right moment, Knight said.
The brothers had a chance to talk before Phillip Paul was taken away.
Knight said he bears no animosity toward Paul. "You can't help but have some sympathy for him," he said. "What are the chances I would be in the group that found him?"
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