PEORIA, Ill. — An arson investigation at the Planned Parenthood clinic in Peoria has resulted in a Chillicothe man's arrest, according to the U.S. States Attorney's Office of the Central District of Illinois.
Tyler W. Massengill, 32, now faces a malicious use of fire charge. If convicted, he could face at least five years or could receive up to 40 years in prison.
Jan. 15 is when the incident happened. Law enforcement responded to a report of a fire in progress at the Planned Parenthood clinic.
Their investigation found that at approximately 11:20 p.m. an older white pickup truck with red doors parked the vehicle in an area adjacent to the clinic. Video evidence shows a man walking up to the building with a "laundry detergent-sized bottle."
The man is shown lighting a rag on fire at one end of the bottle before he smashes a window to place the container inside the clinic. He is then seen leaving the area on foot.
No patients or staff were inside during the fire, but it caused “significant damage” to the building, said Jennifer Welch, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Illinois in a statement.
The complaint alleges that law enforcement linked Massengill to the truck used in the incident and recovered the truck from an individual in Sparland. That individual was left with a request from Massengill to paint the doors white.
After seizing the truck, investigators met with Massengill on Jan. 24 at the Peoria Police Department and took him into custody.
The incident occurred two days after Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed into law reproductive health care legislation to protect out-of-state abortion seekers, adding Illinois to the list of states that have placed legal reinforcements around the procedure after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Watch more news, weather and sports on News 8's YouTube channel