Williamsburg residents react to Hinckley Jr. coming home

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (WAVY) – The streets outside of the Kingsmill community in Williamsburg were quiet Saturday afternoon after its newest resident came home.

John Hinckley Jr., who attempted to assassinate President Ronald Reagan in 1981, was released from St. Elizabeth’s hospital in Washington, D.C. on Saturday afternoon.

His homecoming was not concerning to some neighbors who spoke with 10 On Your Side.

Jennie Kasbohm, who lives in Williamsburg, said, “It doesn’t really affect me. He’s clearly been cleared by doctors. So if he comes back [it’s ok], as long as he maintains good standing in the community.”

“I don’t have any issue with him living with his family, I hope his mother lives a long time and that everything works out fine for him and for everyone else,” said Cathy Deitrich, who also lives in Williamsburg.

Some residents say they weren’t thrilled to hear of Hinckley’s release from St. Elizabeth’s. Those concerns have made their way to Dr. Felicia Flores, she’s a psychologist in Virginia Beach and is an expert on the Hinckley case.

“I could see people feeling nervous and starting to wonder ‘how could this happen?’ that haven’t been following the case. But for anyone who has, this has just been an inevitability for many many years now,” said Dr. Flores.

Hinckley will have a number of orders he has to follow, including how far he can travel and how he can spend his free time.

Dr. Flores believes he’s not a threat to public safety and people don’t need to be alarmed that he’s in town. “The hospital wouldn’t have released him if they had any reason to believe that he would decompensate or start showing any signs of mental illness again,” said Dr. Flores.

Hinckley has already been spending time at his mother’s home in Williamsburg. That started in 2003 with only a few days and he’s worked up to 17 days at a time. Hinckley will be re-evaluated periodically and in one year could be living on his own.

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