Woman Charged With Arson for Setting Fire to Restroom in St. Patrick Hospital Emergency Room [AUDIO]
A Washington woman has been charged with felony arson along with two misdemeanors after allegedly setting a fire inside the restroom at St. Patrick Hospital's emergency room.
Rachel Beatrice Thompson, 37, appeared in Missoula Justice Court via video from the Missoula County Jail and heard the charges against her from Judge Karen Orzech.
Missoula County Sheriff's Office Public Information Officer Paige Pavalone said on Monday, September 16, that the initial report regarding Thompson and a male companion came in to 9-1-1 early Saturday morning.
"We received a report of what we call a rolling disturbance, in which a man and woman were seen fighting inside a moving vehicle traveling westbound on Interstate 90 near Bonner," Pavalone said. "A deputy pulled the vehicle over and said Thompson was acting very strangely, and since they didn't detect the odor of alcohol, they suspected she may have been under the influence of narcotics."
Pavalone said Thompson's male traveling companion was taken into custody.
"The male was placed under arrest for partner or family member assault," Pavalone said. "After a search of the vehicle, a large amount of drug paraphernalia was discovered and both were taken into custody. Thompson was taken to St. Patrick Hospital for a medical evaluation. She asked to use the restroom, and while in the bathroom she lit a roll of toilet paper on fire sending four-foot flames into the air from the bathroom, which created major chaos in the emergency room. There was a patient with respiratory distress in the emergency room at the time, so she placed people's lives in danger."
Pavalone outlined the charges against Thompson.
"She was subsequently placed under arrest for DUI, criminal endangerment and felony arson for setting a fire in the emergency room," Pavalone said.
Thompson's bail was set at $100,000 by Judge Orzech, and she was returned to the Missoula County Jail. Her next court appearance was scheduled for September 30.
Public Information Officer Paige Pavalone: