Suspect Arrested in Connection to Fire at Illinois Planned Parenthood Clinic

A 32-year-old man has been arrested on federal charges related to arson in connection with fire that damaged a Planned Parenthood clinic in Peoria, Illinois, earlier this month, authorities announced Wednesday.

Tyler Massengill was arrested Tuesday on charges of “malicious use of fire and an explosive to damage or attempt to damage property used and affect interstate commerce,” according to a criminal complaint filed in US District Court.

The fire was reported late at night on January 15. Surveillance cameras captured footage of an older-model white van with red doors parked near the clinic and a man approaching the building with a “size bottle of laundry detergent.” “says the complaint.

The suspect lit a rag at one end of the bottle, broke a window and placed the container inside the building, according to the complaint.

The clinic suffered “significant damage,” according to court documents, and has remained closed ever since. There was no one inside at the time, and there were no injuries.

Suspect Arrested in Illinois Planned Parenthood Clinic Fire

Two days after the fire, Peoria police investigators received a tip about the truck’s license plate, prosecutors said, and the truck’s owner was identified as Massengill.

Investigators learned that the truck in question had been brought to the home of an “individual” in Sparland, Illinois, which is about 25 miles north of Peoria. The truck was placed in the individual’s garage, and Massengill “arranged for her to paint the doors of her truck for $300,” the complaint states.

FBI agents seized the truck from Sparland’s home Monday, by which time the doors had been painted white, according to the complaint.

Massengill called Peoria police Tuesday and then went to police headquarters for an interview, where he admitted to setting the fire, the complaint alleges.

He also told investigators that if the fire caused “a bit of a delay” in a patient receiving services at the clinic, then it might have “been worth it,” the complaint says.

The fire broke out just two days later Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker has signed into law a reproductive health care law that protects people who seek an abortion out of state, according to The Associated Press.

If convicted of the charges, Massengill faces a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison.

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