Politics

Pro-Life Activist Arrested By FBI For Allegedly Pushing Planned Parenthood Clinic Worker

(Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

Daily Caller News Foundation logo
Bronson Winslow Contributor
Font Size:

A Pennsylvania man was indicted Friday by a federal grand jury for allegedly pushing a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic escort, according to a Department of Justice press release.

Mark Houck, 48, of Kintnersville, Pennsylvania, allegedly assaulted the escort on two separate occasions and faces up to 11 years in prison, three years of supervised release and fines of up to $350,000, according to the release. Houck allegedly shoved the victim, “B.L,” to the ground on two separate occasions, once while B.L. escorted two patients to the clinic and another when a verbal altercation broke out between the two.

The grand jury charged Houck with two counts of violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act. Under the act, it is a federal crime to use force with the intent “to injure, intimidate, and interfere with anyone because that person is a provider of reproductive health care,” according to the release. (RELATED: Pro-Life Teen Allegedly Suffered Closed Fist Attacks While Canvassing For Kansas Pro-Life Bill)

Houck maintains that he was defending his 12-year-old son from verbal harassment when the escort was pushed away, according to CNA. The victim needed medical attention following the second alleged assault, yet a Houck family spokesman told CNA that the injuries were minor and only required “a Band-Aid on his finger.”

B.L. attempted to file charges against Houck, yet the city police and district attorney declined, according to The Catholic News Agency (CNA).  A private criminal complaint was filed, yet the case was dismissed in June when B.L. didn’t appear in court.

Houck received a letter a few days later from the U.S. Attorney’s Office informing him that he was the subject of a criminal probe for the two incidents, CNA reported. Houck’s attorneys attempted to reach out to the U.S. Attorneys Office, but never received a response until FBI agents showed up at his door Friday.

Twenty-five FBI SWAT members and 15 vehicles reportedly arrived at Houck’s home and arrested him at gunpoint, according to his wife, Ryan-Marie Houck, told CNA. “[A] SWAT team of about 25 came to my house with about 15 vehicles and started pounding on our door. They said they were going to break in if he didn’t open it. And then they had about five guns pointed at my husband, myself and basically at my kids,” she said.

The Philadelphia FBI Office called the claims “inaccurate,” stating that FBI agents did not use SWAT. “There are inaccurate claims being made regarding the arrest of Mark Houck. No SWAT Team or SWAT operators were involved. FBI agents knocked on Mr. Houck’s front door, identified themselves as FBI agents and asked him to exit the residence. He did so and was taken into custody without incident pursuant to an indictment,” according to a FBI spokesperson, Fox reported.

Houck is the founder and co-president of a men’s ministry known as The King’s Men which pledges “to unite and build up other men in the mold of leader, protector, and provider through education, formation, healing, and action,” according to The King’s Men website.

The Pennsylvania FBI Office did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.