VIDEO REPORT: Explosive Device Damages Planned Parenthood Clinic

By: Sally Mamdooh Email
By: Sally Mamdooh Email

UPDATED: Saturday, July 7, 2012 --- 2:00p.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- A federal jury in Green Bay will hear testimony starting Monday in the case of a Kaukauna man accused of smashing a window at a Planned Parenthood clinic and starting a small fire inside.

Fifty-year-old Francis G. Grady is charged with arson and intentionally damaging a reproductive-health facility. His trial is expected to last two days.

Federal prosecutors plan to play a video in which Grady allegedly acknowledges breaking the clinic window in April, pouring gasoline inside and lighting the fluid. The fire caused minimal damage to an exam room at the Grand Chute clinic.

In a letter to the judge last month, Grady says he'll plead guilty to breaking the window but not to arson.

A message left with his defense attorney was not immediately returned.

Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.

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UPDATED: Thursday, April 19, 2012 --- 6:20p.m.

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) -- A Grand Chute man faces trial this summer on federal charges that he set a fire at a Planned Parenthood clinic.

Fifty-year-old Francis Grady pleaded not guilty this week in U.S. District Court in Green Bay.

Grady was indicted on charges of arson and causing damage to a reproductive health facility.

The Green Bay Press-Gazette (http://gbpg.net/I5SFqB) reports Grady's jury trial is scheduled for June 25.

Grady allegedly told investigators he broke the clinic window with a hammer, poured gasoline inside and lit it.

At his initial appearance earlier this month, he told the court he planned to plead guilty. After Tuesday's hearing, he declined to answer questions.

No one was hurt in the April 1 fire. Grady is being held in the Outagamie County Jail.

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Information from: Green Bay Press-Gazette, http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com

Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.

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UPDATED: Wednesday, April 4, 2012 --- 10:00p.m.

Planned Parenthood won't comment on the type of security measures they use at their buildings, but say they take any type of threat seriously.

Despite the recent attack in Grand Chute, Planned Parenthood in Wisconsin continues to be a popular organization in the state.

Just last year the organization provided care to 80,000 patients.

"We will continue to work every day to make sure that it is a safe environment for everyone who walks through the doors,"said Nicole Safar,Public Policy Director of Planned Parenthood in Wisconsin.

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UPDATED Wednesday, April 4, 2012 --- 4:40 p.m.

Wis. man admits setting fire at Planned Parenthood

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) -- A Wisconsin man tells a judge he wants to plead guilty to the arson fire that damaged a Planned Parenthood clinic.

Francis Grady made the comment during his initial appearance in federal court in Green Bay on Wednesday. WLUK-TV reports (http://bit.ly/Hf53Wg ) he also asked the judge if he knew how many babies were being killed at the clinic.

The criminal complaint alleges Grady used a hammer to break a window of the clinic in Grand Chute on Sunday and then poured gasoline inside, lighting the room on fire. The complaint says the 50-year-old admitted to officers, "I lit up the clinic."

No one was inside the clinic, which reopened Tuesday.

The judge set a preliminary hearing for April 19. Grady is being held in the Outagamie County Jail.

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Information from: WLUK-TV, http://www.fox11online.com

Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.

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UPDATED: Tuesday, April 3, 2012 --- 8:47p.m.

Release from FBI:

Teresa L. Carlson, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Milwaukee office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) along with Chief Greg Peterson of the Grand Chute Police Department (GCPD), Bernard J. Zapor, Special Agent in Charge St. Paul Field Division (ATF) and Outagamie County District Attorney Carrie Schneider announced today the arrest of arson suspect FRANCIS G. GRADY, (age 50) of Grand Chute, WI. GRADY is charged with arson of a building used in interstate commerce, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 844(i), and intentionally damaging the property of a facility that provides reproductive health services, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 248(a)(3) and (b)(1).

On Sunday, April 1, 2012, a report by a witness indicated a white, SUV type vehicle was seen leaving the area of the Planned Parenthood offices, located at 3800 N. Gillett Street, in Grand Chute, WI. During that time flames were also observed at the building, investigators were able to corroborate this information after viewing security video from the location. The video also revealed distinctive markings on the vehicle. A subsequent investigation determined a similar vehicle was involved in a traffic accident in a neighboring jurisdiction sometime after the Planned Parenthood incident was reported. The vehicle was disabled in the accident and towed from the scene.

Using information collected from the accident investigation, investigators were able to conduct a preliminary inspection of the vehicle and identify the driver. The physical description of the driver matched physical characteristics of a male subject observed on the security video provided by Planned Parenthood. That person, allegedly GRADY, was located on the evening of April 2nd. GRADY is currently in custody and scheduled to make his initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Green Bay, WI, at 1:30 p.m. tomorrow afternoon.

SAC Carlson said: “The FBI will always investigate and bring to justice anyone who resorts to violence as a means to harm, intimidate, or prevent the public’s right to access reproductive health services.”
This case was investigated by the Grand Chute Police Department, the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The case will be prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of Wisconsin.

United States Attorney James L. Santelle, Eastern District of Wisconsin, stated: “When the Congress passed the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act in 1994, it specifically empowered law enforcement to respond to those who engage in violent and other obstructive behaviors that interfere with access to reproductive services. The complaint that we filed today in federal court not only responds to the particular conduct of Francis Grady in committing arson at and causing damage to the Planned Parenthood Clinic in Grand Chute, but it also signals the continuing, strong commitment of federal, state, and local authorities to ensure access to clinics—and to seek criminal penalties against anyone who would compromise that right.” Santelle specifically commended the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the Grand Chute Police Department, and the Office of Outagamie County District Attorney Carrie Schneider for their highly effective, partnered action in responding promptly and effectively to this incident.

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UPDATED Tuesday, April 3, 2012 --- 2:20 p.m.

GRAND CHUTE, Wis. (AP) -- Police have arrested a suspect in the bombing of a Planned Parenthood clinic in eastern Wisconsin.

Grand Chute police said the suspect was arrested Monday evening and is being held on a probation warrant. He has not been charged.

A small fire broke out at the clinic in Grand Chute on Sunday when the homemade bomb exploded, causing minimal damage to an exam room. No one was inside the clinic, which reopened Tuesday.

Police say a witness saw a white vehicle, possibly an SUV, leaving the area after the explosion. A similar vehicle was involved in a nearby accident shortly afterward. Investigators identified the driver and say he matches the person seen on clinic security video.

Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin CEO Teri Huyck thanked police for the quick arrest.

Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.

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UPDATED Monday, April 2, 2012 --- 10:40 a.m.

GRAND CHUTE, Wis. (AP) -- Police say a homemade explosive device damaged a Planned Parenthood clinic in eastern Wisconsin.

Authorities say someone placed the small device on an outside window sill about 7:40 p.m. Sunday at the clinic in Grand Chute, near Appleton.

Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin CEO Teri Huyck said in a statement that there was minimal damage to an exam room and that the clinic will reopen Tuesday. No one was in the building at the time.

A small fire broke out when the device exploded, but quickly burned itself out. Police have no suspects in custody and did not immediately comment on a possible motive. The Grand Chute Fire Department responded to the clinic's fire alarm and alerted police after finding the device.

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Statement by Teri Huyck, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, on Incident at Appleton Health Center

“For 77 years, the dedicated staff at Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin have worked to ensure that women and families will always be able to access affordable, high-quality health care in a safe and caring environment in which their privacy and dignity is respected.

“We care for 80,000 patients statewide who turn to us for medical exams, lifesaving cancer screenings, birth control and STD testing and treatment. Over 97 percent of the health care services we provide are critical, preventive care such as this. At three of our 27 centers, we provide abortion care, a critical component of comprehensive women’s health care.

“Last night around 7:40 p.m. the Grand Chute Fire Department was called to our Appleton North Health Center. Police are telling us that a small, homemade explosive device was placed on an outside windowsill causing a small fire that burned out prior to the fire department arriving. There was minimal damage to one of the exam rooms. No staff or patients were injured or present. The health center will reopen tomorrow. Our primary concern today—as always--- is our patients, staff and volunteers.

“Women deserve safe and compassionate care, and we are proud to provide it. Rest assured, our doors will remain open for the thousands of women who rely on Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin each year for high quality health care.

“We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the law enforcement agencies working with us to ensure Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin continues to be a safe and trusted health care provider for Wisconsin women and families.”

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Posted Monday, April 2, 2012 --- 10:10 a.m.

GRAND CHUTE, Wis. (AP) -- Police say a homemade explosive device damaged a Planned Parenthood clinic in eastern Wisconsin.

Authorities say someone placed the small device on an outside window sill about 7:40 p.m. Sunday at the clinic in Grand Chute, near Appleton.

A small fire broke out when the device exploded, but quickly burned itself out. Police did not immediately provide details on the extent of damage. And, Planned Parenthood did not immediately return a phone call.

The Grand Chute Fire Department responded to the clinic's fire alarm and alerted police after finding the device.

Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.


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