WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (WAVY) - We could soon learn John Hinckley, Jr.'s fate in the greater Hampton Roads community.
The attempted presidential assassin currently visits his mother for a 10-day stretch, 12 times a year in Williamsburg. She lives in the gated Kingsmill neighborhood.
In November, Hinckley requested a federal judge for more free time. Ultimately, he wants Williamsburg to be his permanent home. Hearings wrapped in February and a federal judge has yet to rule.
Hinckley, 56, tried to kill President Ronald Reagan in 1981, but managed to wound the president and three others instead. A jury found him not guilty by reason of insanity. When Hinckley's not in Williamsburg he's kept at St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Washington, DC.
While visiting Williamsburg, Hinckley remains rather elusive. Outside of his neighbors, few people recognize him.
"Hinckley has fallen into obscurity in a way that I don't think anyone in 1981 would have anticipated," says local psychology professor, Felicia Flores.
But during one recent trip, 10 On Your Side cameras rolled as Hinckley made is way into an office building off Jamestown Road. He slowly walked in. An hour later he came out and 10 On Your Side brought his neighbors' concerns to his attention.
"Do you believe that you're safe to be in this community that's there's no concern? A lot of citizens have expressed concerns." Hinckley continued walking without giving an answer. "Sir, do you think it's OK for you to be here? You understand your neighbors concern, you understand their worry?"
Before getting into an SUV driven by an unidentified man, Hinckley turned and said quietly, "Please leave us alone."
We showed the clip of our interview to those living nearby.
"Anybody who tried to kill the president and he's out walking free, it doesn't make any sense, now does it?" Robert said. "He should be locked up. He should be in prison."
James agreed. While looking at the video he said, "No we don't need that. Not just this area, but any place. Where he has shown to be a risk, you shouldn't allow that to happen."
But not everyone is bothered by Hinckley's presence.
"If I was here and he's walking across the street, I wouldn't particularly feel threatened," said Betsy.
Cou said, "I think as long as people are aware of the situation and leave him alone, and understand that it's mental illness, they should have no problem with him... just let him do his own thing."
"Many people are institutionalized, their symptoms do remit, and they are allowed back into the public and they do quite well. But it isn't everyone," Professor Flores said.
But, she adds, there are no guarantees when it comes to predicting a patient's future mental health. And she warns, we shouldn't discount concerned neighbors. Professor Flores says their anxiety could grow into something more serious, including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
"One doesn't have to be a victim of crime to suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder," she said. "A person can actually suffer as a result of hearing of something or of witnessing something. [Neighbors] might become very paranoid and might become frightened, and as a result, have a stress injury or stress reaction... just to his presence there."
Tourists in nearby Colonial Williamsburg had mixed opinions on the Hinckley debate.
"I think that's just wrong. That's just my opinion," said Debbie, visiting from Dallas, TX. "I wouldn't want to be on the same street as him."
One man visiting from New Jersey didn't seem worried. "You don't know who's on the streets these days," he said. "Who's who, and what's their medical status and capacity is... [he's] just another person."
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