- Associated Press - Friday, October 30, 2015

HILO, Hawaii (AP) - The family of a Big Island man who was allegedly killed by a man who escaped from a mental hospital is suing the state and the county.

Thirty-two-year-old Rory Thompson Wick was stabbed to death in 2013. The suit filed by the victim’s mother and the mother of his three children claims Wick’s death was a result of negligence by both the state and county.

David True Seal is charged with murder in Wick’s death, the Hawaii Tribune-Herald reports (https://bit.ly/1LFsFSy). He escaped from Hawaii State Hospital on Oahu in 2009.

Seal was committed to the state facility in 2002 after he was acquitted by reason of insanity for the kidnapping and attempted rape of an 8-year-old girl on Maui.

The suit claims the psychiatric hospital was understaffed, lacked proper security measures and had a nonconfrontational policy to address violent patients.

“Rather than risk violent confrontation with patients, or maintaining a security staff whose job it is to handle violent, unstable and combative patients, the policy of the hospital was that staff members were to allow a patient to escape . from the facility rather than attempt to physically restrain or prevent the patient from doing so,” the suit states.

Wick’s family also alleges that the Hawaii Police Department didn’t do enough to find Seal after he escaped.

According to the suit, the department received a Crime Stoppers call saying “Seal was studying martial arts in Hilo.”

“Even with this information, county law enforcement and state of Hawaii public safety officials made no efforts to recapture Seal,” the filing states.

Police Capt. Robert Wagner of Hilo Criminal Investigation Division told the Tribune-Herald in 2013 that he had examined three months of Crime Stoppers logs and found no record of the call. A request for the logs was denied by the department, which cited state laws relating to personal privacy and criminal investigations.

County Corporation Counsel Molly Stebbins and a state Attorney General spokesman declined to comment, saying they haven’t been served with the lawsuit.


Information from: Hawaii Tribune-Herald, https://www.hawaiitribune-herald.com/

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