Judge: Police reports at psychiatric hospital are public

LAKEWOOD, Wash. (AP) — A judge has ruled that the names of people in police reports involving alleged crimes are public records even if the people are patients at a Washington state psychiatric hospital.

The News Tribune reports that Pierce County Superior Court Judge Jack Nevin ruled Friday that police reports are not health care records.

Nevin in a short statement also says that suspects in criminal actions are not patients as far as the police are concerned.

The state Department of Social and Health Services and Disability Rights Washington sought to prevent The News Tribune from identifying a Western State Hospital patient accused of attacking a nurse.

Police say Christopher Adams Jones in September vaulted over a nurse’s station, knocked a nurse down, choked her and bit off part of her ear.