SEATTLE -- A former Richland police officer who was stabbed seven times and shot twice in 1982 by a car prowler is fighting to keep his attacker in prison.
Jerry Dean Lain, who was sent to prison for the attack, is to be released on Monday.
Mike Fitzpatrick, now 57, who survived even though he was shot once in the face, has asked Gov. Christine Gregoire to keep Lain in prison.
Fitzpatrick, the first Richland police officer to be shot in the line of duty, was in Seattle on Monday talking with reporters and arguing his point -- that the Benton County judge who sentenced Lain wanted him to spend the rest of his life in prison.
But changes in state law since then mean a state board decides when a prisoner has earned release.
Fitzpatrick was responding to a car prowler call on Sept. 7, 1982, near Columbia Park when Lain stabbed Fitzpatrick seven times, then took the officer's gun and "consciously wedged it under the officer's protective vest" and shot him, according to a letter that Benton County Prosecuting Attorney Andy Miller sent to state officials.
When Fitzpatrick fell to the ground, Lain shot him in the face.
"He didn't have to finish me off -- he could have left. But instead he shot me in my face," Fitzpatrick said.
Lain was convicted of first-degree assault in 1982.
Lynne DeLano, chairwoman of the Indeterminate Sentence Review Board, which decides when prisoners are released, said Lain has been paroled to Iowa, where he will stay in a halfway house.
"He's responsible for doing that -- for getting to the train or plane and reporting in Iowa," DeLano said. "He will be paroled on Monday."
When he attacked Fitzpatrick, Lain was wanted for a parole violation in Iowa.
He was in prison there until 1982 for stabbing a man during a bar fight. While incarcerated, he blinded another inmate by tossing acid in his face, and he attacked another inmate with a claw hammer, according to state records.
Fitzpatrick, who still works in law enforcement in the state, referred to police shootings in Seattle and Pierce County in the last few years in which at least five law enforcement officers have been killed.
"How many law enforcement officers have to die before the system figures out guys like this shouldn't be released?" Fitzpatrick asked. "I worry some law enforcement officers are going to go to some bar fight and won't know what they are up against."
The governor's spokeswoman said late Monday that the governor has not yet been briefed on the case.