Police: Arson suspect was having 'manic episode' - Coeur d'Alene Press: Local News

Police: Arson suspect was having 'manic episode'

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Posted: Thursday, May 9, 2013 12:00 am

COEUR d'ALENE - A man charged with arson for an April 25 incident at Kootenai Medical Center had been taken to the hospital because he was having a "manic episode," according to a police report released Wednesday.

Clark E. Richman, 43, of Sandpoint, remains in custody at the Kootenai County jail and is charged with second-degree arson, aggravated assault and battery on a police officer.

Hospital staff told police Richman arrived at the hospital because he has bipolar disorder and he was going through what they called a "manic episode." He was discharged about 7:20 p.m., about two hours before the fire.

Becky Orchard, a spokeswoman at Kootenai Health, said hospital officials can't comment on why he was discharged or other specific information because of patient confidentiality rules.

An officer who was at the hospital - for something unrelated - when Richman was discharged helped get him a phone call to arrange a ride home.

"While Clark was on the phone I noticed his demeanor was sporadic," the officer said in the report. "I noticed Clark would get angry that he was stuck at the hospital without a ride, then he would chuckle and laugh as though it was a joke."

A friend came to the hospital to pick Richman up and take him home. The friend told police he had been with Richman most of the day and believed Richman needed medical help.

"(The friend) said he was surprised that Clark was released from KMC tonight," the report said.

About 2 hours after Richman's discharge, firefighters and police were dispatched to a fire that ended up burning one construction trailer and damaging another on the north edge of the hospital campus.

A witness said she saw Richman acting suspiciously near the scene right before the fire. She said she saw him allegedly gathering pine needles and throwing them under one of the trailers.

"When I asked if Clark was the male who set the fire, she immediately recognized him to be the suspect," an officer wrote in another report. "(She) explained that when she saw Clark and recognized him, it felt like her heart stopped beating."

When police arrived, Richman allegedly pulled a knife on an officer. He's also accused of kicking an officer in the knee while he was in custody.

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  • Bob Loblaw posted at 11:26 am on Thu, May 9, 2013.

    Bob Loblaw Posts: 413

    Has anyone followed up to see if he owns or has access to guns? Just sayin'.

  • I Carry posted at 6:53 am on Thu, May 9, 2013.

    I Carry Posts: 558

    Has anyone noticed how many times the condition "BIPOLAR" is used to explain ones actions? I don't remember that many back when I was growing up. Now "bipolar is as an excuse for behavior, when the person behaving badly just needs to get their ------ (I can't type the word here) together, get a job, get a life, and stop using the systems.
    I might have been bipolar when I was younger, but my Dad knocked my poles into alignment more then once. Now correcting youngster's actions is labeled abuse, whish is also used to explain ones bad actions in todays times.

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