Illinois Man Charged With Setting Fire to Planned Parenthood


Tyler W. Massengill, 32, of Chillicothe, is accused of "malicious use of fire and an explosive to damage, and attempt to damage" the clinic in Peoria, the Department of Justice said.

An Illinois man was charged Wednesday with setting fire to a Planned Parenthood clinic earlier this month, the Department of Justice said.

Tyler W. Massengill, 32, of Chillicothe, is accused of "malicious use of fire and an explosive to damage, and attempt to damage" the clinic in Peoria, the DOJ said.

The DOJ said that surveillance video recorded at around 11:20 p.m. on Jan. 15, 2023, which was obtained by authorities, shows “an older white pickup truck with red doors parked in an area adjacent to Planned Parenthood.”

"A man wearing a coat with a hood pulled up and possible face mask walk up to the building with a laundry detergent-sized bottle. The man lit a rag on fire on one end of the bottle, smashed a window with an object and then placed the container inside of the Planned Parenthood building. He then quickly left the area on foot," the DOJ wrote. 

The complaint, obtained by Inside Edition Digital, alleges that law enforcement, acting on several tips, linked the truck to Massengill. Officials ultimately recovered the truck from an individual in Sparland, where Massengill allegedly left it with a request to paint its doors white. 

After the truck authorities said belongs to Massengill was seized, Massengill met with investigators at the Peoria Police Department Wednesday and was taken into custody.

The complaint says that during his interview with authorities, Massengill said he “saw his truck on the news while he was at work.” Initially he denied responsibility for the fire, claiming that he traveled to Peoria on Jan. 15, 2023 and allowed two men to borrow his truck.

But ultimately, he "changed his story and told investigators about a relationship he had been in approximately three years earlier," the complaint read. 

Investigators said Massengill told them his girlfriend who was in the Peoria area while he was working in Alaska, had become pregnant and informed him via telephone that she had elected to have an abortion, which upset him.

On or around Jan. 15, 2023, the complaint says that Massengill “heard or saw something that reminded him of the abortion, again upsetting him.”

“Massengill admitted that, on January 15, 2023, he broke the window out of the PHC and placed a burning container inside of the building,” the complaint said.

The United States District Court of the Central District of Illinois tells Inside Edition Digital that Massengill has not entered a plea and that he currently has no legal representation on file. His next court appearance is Feb. 1.

If convicted of the offense, Massengill faces a mandatory minimum sentence of imprisonment of at least five years and could receive up to 40 years in prison. The charges also carry up to three years of supervised release and a possible fine of up to $250,000.

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