...set them free.
When a high-risk sex offender was about to be released from prison, he had no place to stay. The state told him to sleep under a bridge beneath U.S. 2 near Snohomish.
Three days after being released from prison, David J. Torrence, 43, on Wednesday cut off the electronic monitoring bracelet he was issued and stopped reporting to his parole officer.
He's a level-3 sex offender and considered at the highest risk of reoffending.
"The only reason he was there under the bridge was so we could know where he was."
The bridge near Snohomish was selected because it was convenient for Torrence to check in with parole supervisors and get transportation to other services, Rehberg said, adding there were no other alternatives for the homeless offender.
"I didn't want him under that bridge either," she said.
"He's a stranger rapist, which is the worst of all kinds," Snohomish County sheriff's detective Joseph Beard said. Beard tracks sex offenders in the county.
Torrence was sentenced to more than seven years in prison. Since completing that sentence, he's been arrested several more times.
"He has a history of failing to register," Beard said.
State laws prevent them from living within 800 feet of a school or other places where minors come together to play.
So, is 900 feet away okay? And just how long does it take to drive a sound-proofed van 800 feet, anyway?
In the first three months of 2008, the state Department of Corrections released 34 level-3 sex offenders. Of those, 15 were homeless at release, said spokeswoman Anna Aylward.
Your tax dollars at work. Serve and protect. Blah blah blah...