KALAMAZOO (AP) Federal authorities have joined an investigation into an attempted arson fire at a Planned Parenthood center, the second failed arson attempt since an arsonist destroyed the center in 1986.
No arrests had been made in connection with the latest attempt, said Mark Hady, resident agent in charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms office in Grand Rapids.
“We”re just trying to put together what evidence we have and trying to follow up with any leads that come up,” Hady said yesterday.
Federal agents become involved in investigations whenever a fire is set or attempted to be set at a facility that performs abortions, he said. The ATF and the Kalamazoo Police Department are working together on the case.
Abortions account for a small amount of the center”s activities, said the Rev. Mark Pawlowski, the center”s executive director and chief executive officer.
He told the Kalamazoo Gazette for a story Monday that about 1,500 out of 26,000 visits to the clinic last year were for abortions.
About 4 a.m. Sunday, someone broke the center”s front glass door and poured a flammable liquid on the carpet and vinyl floor, according to police reports and Pawlowski.
The liquid never was ignited, possibly because an alarm went off and the intruder felt pressured to leave, Pawlowski said.
Police estimated the damage at $500.
The center was destroyed by an unknown arsonist in a pre-dawn fire on Dec. 1, 1986.
After it was rebuilt, a firebomb exploded near an outside wall in September 1989, causing some exterior charring but no interior damage. That crime also remains unsolved.