BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) — Southern Indiana police arrested a man on
suspicion of using an ax to smash windows and damage computers at a
Planned Parenthood clinic in Bloomington on Thursday.
Benjamin D. Curell, 27, of Ellettsville, was arrested on preliminary
burglary and criminal mischief charges, The Herald-Times reported (http://bit.ly/ZbIdpI
Curell is accused of vandalizing the clinic around 4 a.m. Thursday,
including splashing red paint on the building, said Bloomington police
Capt. Joseph Qualters. The man allegedly attributed his actions to his
religious beliefs, saying Planned Parenthood employees murder babies.
The clinic's front door was destroyed and the front office and some
equipment were heavily damaged, according to a statement from Planned
Parenthood of Indiana. The damage is still being assessed, but police
initially estimated the cost to be more than $2,500.
No one was in the building at the time.
Curell was being held at the Monroe County jail, which didn't have records
about whether he had an attorney. A message left by The Associated Press
at a home phone number listed in his name wasn't immediately returned.
Planned Parenthood of Indiana President and CEO Betty Cockrum said in the
statement that the person who vandalized the building would not deter
workers from providing services at the clinic. Employees reported to the
clinic to begin clean up at about 4:30 a.m. after police notified the
organization, said Liz Carroll, Planned Parenthood's vice president for
Anti-abortion activists still came to the clinic for their regular protest
day, according to the Herald-Times. Escorts stationed outside of the
building swept up broken glass as they waited for potential clients who
might not have heard about the incident.
"While the center is only open for limited purposes today, it will again
be fully up and running as soon as possible," Cockrum said. "We will
protect our patients and our staff, and we will rise above, as we always
Carroll told the Herald-Times that the clinic will reopen Friday for free
testing for sexually transmitted diseases. Computer monitors have been
replaced and some of the windows and doors on the building have been
"It's still hard to understand why people would thinking throwing paint on
a building and breaking a windows will change people's political beliefs,"
Anti-abortion group Indiana Right to Life issued a statement condemning
the actions of the vandal.
"Indiana Right to Life strongly denounces the violence reported this
morning against the Bloomington abortion facility," said Mike Fichter,
president and CEO of the organization. "Responding to the violence of
abortion with physical violence is not behavior that Indiana Right to Life