It wasn’t the first time he started a fire at Western State Hospital when frustration got the better of him, court documents say.
Most recently, papers were found balled up next to burned papers in the bottom cabinet of Patrick Hayden’s closet in the Lakewood facility.
Officials believe the 50-year-old used a lighter to start the Nov. 30 fire, which caused three wards to be evacuated for three hours.
A nurse who first smelled smoke spotted Hayden coming out of his room and asked if he started the fire. He allegedly admitted he had.
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“She asked him why, and he said he was angry and he ‘wanted to,’ ” according to court documents. “She said she told him that he was putting everybody’s safety in jeopardy, and he became aggressive, cursing at her and coming towards her.”
The nurse ran and called security.
Pierce County prosecutors have charged Hayden with first-degree arson and ordered him held without bail. He will undergo a competency exam at Western State to determine whether he is fit to stand trial.
This is the third time Hayden has been charged with starting a fire at the inpatient psychiatric facility that houses individuals who have been civilly committed. It also houses people found not guilty of a crime by reason of insanity and defendants in criminal cases whose competency to stand trial is being evaluated.
The first charge came in 2004. Hayden told officials he started the blaze because he wanted ground privileges, which would allow him to leave the facility.
Charges were dismissed after he was found incompetent to stand trial.
He again was charged after a 2006 fire in his room at Western State.
This time, Hayden was found competent to face charges and eventually pleaded guilty to attempted second-degree arson. Hayden was sentenced to three years and nine months in prison.
In August, he was back in Western State after being found incompetent to stand trial for a third-degree assault charge.
Hayden suffers from schizophrenia and is psychotic, records show. His stays at the hospital date back to 1986. By 2006, records show, he had been admitted 14 times.
His criminal record includes convictions for burglary, assault, escape, stalking and attempted arson.
No one was hurt in any of the fires. A competency hearing is set for Dec. 16.
Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653