Residents in Lakewood, Washington, got a terrifying call at 6:30 a.m. Thursday morning, warning them that two mentally ill patients at a psychiatric facility nearby escaped and were on the loose.
The men are both described as dangerous and locals were urged to keep their distance and call 911 if they spot the pair. Staff at the hospital said both men are “dangerous to others.”
The patients are Anthony Garver, 28, and Mark Alexander Adams, 58, the Seattle Times reported. Investigators believe they escaped by shimmying through a loosened window. Unfortunately, it appears as though they got a one-and-a-half hour head start on foot and the patients were able to secure transportation and leave the immediate area.
“They got a considerable head start,” said Lakewood police spokesman Chris Lawler, according to CNN.
Both men had been committed to Washington’s Western State Hospital — a massive psychiatric facility with 800 beds — after committing violent crimes. Both were ruled incompetent to stand trial.
According to KOMO, the patients were last seen at 6 p.m. in the hospital’s dining hall. At 7:30 p.m., staff finally learned the pair had escaped. A source told the station that “this is serious business. These guys penetrated a secure window with intent to leave.”
After the patients escaped, a bus driver reportedly believes he picked up both escapees. He thinks he picked up Garver at 6 p.m. and drove east, then dropped him off at the Lakewood Towne Transit Center, The News Tribune reported. He remembered picking up Adams around 7:45 p.m. at a ferry dock and then again at 8:15 p.m. at the same transit center.
Cab companies, Amtrak, Greyhound and local transit services have been notified of the escaped patients.
Both men had been patients at Western State since February, 2015, and were housed in the hospital’s locked civil ward.
Little seems to be known about Adams. He was arrested in 2014 in another Washington county, Snohomish, suspected of second-degree assault and committing domestic violence. The nature of this crime was not detailed, except to note that in an ensuing court proceeding he was deemed incompetent to stand trial.
Of the two patients, Garver is described in the most frightened terms. A judge in the same Washington county called him “scary, to say the least.” An anonymous source at Western State called him “scary and creepy.”
The crime that landed the young man in a psychiatric hospital is disturbing. In 2013, he was convicted in Snohomish County of first-degree murder after killing 20-year-old Philippa S. Evans-Lopez, 20. Her body was found tied to her bed with electrical cords and she had been stabbed two dozen times. He also slashed her throat.
Police linked him to the crime through evidence collected at the scene and surveillance footage that showed the two together in the days prior to her murder.
In 2006, he also allegedly threatened to blow up a government office in his native Spokane, Washington, and was accused later of threatening to kill the deputy prosecutor and judge in his case. He sometimes uses the name Burke and also goes by the alias Deryk Garver.
Police have provided descriptions of the escaped patients to Washington residents, who are advised to call 911 if they see either of them.
Anthony Garver, 28, is white, has “long, curly brown hair with a beard or mustache. He is 5 feet 8 inches tall, 250 pounds and was last seen wearing a brown, faded sweatshirt and orange flip flops.” Mark Alexander Adams, 58, is also white, has “long blonde hair. He is 6 feet tall, 210 pounds and was last seen wearing a white T-shirt and grey shorts.” He may flee to California.
[Photo by Lakewood Police Department/AP]