Man Charged with Trying to Burn Down Planned Parenthood Clinic (Twice)

Another day, another irrational, poorly-planned attack on a Planned Parenthood clinic that also doesn’t actually perform abortions. A man twice-accused of trying to immolate a Planned Parenthood clinic in Joplin, Missouri has been charged with attempted arson, according to federal authorities, after tossing items containing an accelerant on the roof of the clinic, and then lighting attached materials on fire.

Reuters reports that 30-year-old Jedediah Stout was unable to cause significant damage to the clinic in either of his two apparent attempts to burn it down on Oct. 3 and again on Oct. 4. A surveillance video taken outside the clinic on the night of Oct. 3 showed, according to an affidavit from FBI Special Agent Stacy Lee Moore, a person tossing a backpack on the building’s roof and lighting an attached rope. The following night, Joplin police alerted the FBI to more footage of a similar second attempt on the building. Local police soon found Stout walking along railroad tracks about five blocks from the clinic, and promptly detained him.

From the report:

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Stout denied trying to burn the clinic, but investigators linked him to the purchases of the backpack used in the first attempt, as well as rope like the one used and a jacket that looked like one worn by the suspect in the video, Moore said.

Authorities also found a fingerprint matching Stout's on a clear plastic bottle recovered from a gutter on the clinic building on October 3, Moore's affidavit said.

Stout’s first appearance in federal court is scheduled for Monday, though the motive for his alleged arson attempt is unclear. Assuming for a moment that Stout is the sort of unstable anti-choice zealot who thinks Baby Jesus is a power-hungry god that derives his magic energy from the number of infant humans on Earth at any given moment, the kicker in this story is that the targeted Planned Parenthood clinic doesn’t even perform abortions.

Man charged with attempted arson at Planned Parenthood in Missouri [Reuters]

Image via Getty, Stephen Brashear