Repeat lewd offender remains in Franklin County Jail
PASCO, Wash. – On Sunday afternoon, Jayme Davis, a barista at Hot Beans Espresso in Pasco, saw quite the scene.
“He was in the fact, in the back of our business doing this, in front of the world to see,” she said.
The man was pleasuring himself behind the business, while customers frantically called the police, while they shielded their eyes.
“I did feel a little sympathy at first hence why I closed the windows closed the curtains and didn’t really bother him ,” Jayme said she knows the man from high school and thought he was just walking near their coffee stand.
Jayme saw the man get arrested by police, who first, tried to help him. Sergeant Rigo Pruneda said they recognized some signs of mental distress.
“We tried to get him help with our mental health professionals on staff, he is refusing all of that,” he said.
The suspect was booked into the Franklin County Jail on lewd conduct and resisting arrest charges. Police say, this isn’t the man’s first run-in with the law.
“We want to get them help first, but if help isn’t what they are accepting of, jail is the last option,” Pruneda said.
Officers have tried to get the man help because they believe he has mental issues. Luckily, they have training and people like Israa Alshaikhli who can help police with mental distress situations, if needed.
“We usually have a checklist of: are they a danger to themselves or anyone else? Are they unable to take care of themselves? We usually call that grave disability, so we try to use least restrictive alternatives,” she said.
On Tuesday morning, the man was let out of jail. Police say he went to a Pasco business, then back to the coffee stand, where he reportedly harassed the baristas for calling the cops on him.
When cops got to the stand, the man was gone.
Later that night, passersby witnessed the man, yet again, exposing himself outside of a Pasco convenience store. Officials say while inside the store, the man also stole some food.
“Now that he is under arrest, the judge will be able to look at the charges and the severity of those and maybe be able to court order some mental health treatment,” Sergeant Pruneda said.
The case has highlighted the importance of mental crisis awareness and the professionals who are trained to respond.
“We are really able to bridge that gap between mental health agencies and law enforcement,” Alshaikhli said.
As for Jayme and her co-workers, they’re just thankful for the police officers who have helped them.
“I think it’s just pretty important that the cops are here to help us and the minute you feel uncomfortable, the minute you see something that’s out of the norm or unusual to call for help.”
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