In a bizarre turn of events, and what officials are only calling a "coincidence," Athol Republican Rep. Phil Hart was reportedly founds asleep in his car on Monday at a Latah County rest area where a woman was shot.
This morning's Lewiston Tribune reports that Latah County Sheriff's deputies awakened Hart at gunpoint at 3:30 a.m. on April 2. According to law enforcement, after deputies searched the rest area parking lot and identified Hart, "they cleared him immediately and sent him on his way."
Twenty-eight-year-old Kayla Sedlacek of Princeton called 911 from the rest area, saying she had been shot in the abdomen after being attacked in a restroom by a masked assailant. According to police reports, Sedlacek told investigators she was shot with her own handgun.
When deputies arrived on the scene, they discovered two vehicles at the rest area: one belonging to Sedlacek, the other belonging to Hart.
According to the Tribune, "Hart told deputies he had been asleep for about 45 minutes and didn't know anything about the shooting." Additionally, a Sheriff's Department spokesman said Hart did not match the description that Sedlacek gave of her alleged assailant. According to police in Pullman, Wash., Sedlacek had filed previous complaints about a man who had been stalking her.
The Tribune reports that the Latah Sheriff's Department spokesman was "unsure if Hart gave a reason for being asleep at a U.S. Highway 95 rest area in the middle of the night," 80 miles from his home.
Latah County Sheriff Wayne Rausch said the case is still being investigated.