U.S. says Planned Parenthood clinic arson suspect cited ex-girlfriend for abortion

Earlier this month, a man accused of firebombing a Planned Parenthood clinic in Peoria, Illinois, told investigators he did so after recalling an ex-girlfriend once had an abortion against his will , adding that he hopes the fire will delay abortions for others, according to federal authorities.

The man, Tyler W. Massengill, 32, was arrested this week and charged with malicious use of fire and explosives to disrupt and attempt to disrupt Planned Parenthood, the Justice Department said in a news release Wednesday. Union building.

gentlemen. Massengill initially denied the allegations but later admitted he set the building on fire, explaining he was disturbed by the memory of an ex-girlfriend who had informed him three years earlier. Authorities said Massengill said on the phone that she was having an abortion. gentlemen. He told investigators that Massengill was working in Alaska while his ex-girlfriend was in Peoria.

He told investigators that if the attack caused a “slight delay” for people receiving services at the clinic, his actions could “be worth it all”.

It is not clear from the charging documents what alerted Mr. Mason Gill, whose ex-girlfriend had an abortion. The Jan. 15 attack on a Peoria health center came just days after Illinois signed sweeping abortion protection laws.

Court documents show the fire caused “significant damage” to the clinic, which has closed its doors to patients, possibly for months or more. Earlier this month, fire officials estimated the damage at more than $150,000, while Planned Parenthood said it was likely to exceed $1 million.

According to the criminal complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois, surveillance footage from that night shows a man arriving at the clinic around 11:20 p.m. wearing a coat with the hood pulled up and holding a “laundry powder-sized bottle.” The man stuffed a rag into the end of the burning bottle, then smashed open a window in the clinic and put the bottle inside, the documents said.

Investigators said the truck seen on surveillance video — a 1996 white Dodge Dakota Red Door — matched descriptions by bystanders. On Monday, investigators said they received a report from a woman that Massengill left his pickup truck at her home in Sparland, Illinois, about 26 miles north of the clinic, and demanded $300 in cash from her. Price paints the red doors white.

The FBI arrested Mr. Massengill’s truck that day. Tuesday, sir. Massengill turned himself in to the Peoria Police Department.

According to court records, Mr. Massengill was sentenced to three years in prison in Tazewell County, Illinois, in 2008 for burglary. He also pleaded guilty to aggravated battery in a Peoria County, Illinois, court in March.

It was unclear on Tuesday whether Mr. Massengill had a lawyer, and efforts to contact his family were unsuccessful.

If convicted of malicious use of fire, according to the Ministry of Justice, Massengill will face a minimum mandatory prison sentence of 5 years and a maximum of 40 years. The charges also carry up to three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000.

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