New details about a terrifying FBI raid on the home of a pro-life activist Mark Houck have emerged after he was cleared of committing any crime outside a Philadelphia abortion clinic.
A day after his acquittal the father of seven described the excessive use of force by the Department of Justice to arrest him on relatively minor charges.
He told The War Room podcast that more than 20 FBI agents and state troopers arrived at his house in up to 15 vehicles early in the morning.
They relentlessly rang his bell, pounded on his door and shouted for him to open up without initially saying who they were.
He opened the door to heavily equipped agents pointing M-16 rifles at him and his wife Ryan-Marie.
At the time, she told the Catholic News Agency that “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.”
The FBI denied a SWAT team was involved, but Mr. Houck said: “I have 100 yards to the street, cars were lined all the way up to the street, marked and unmarked units right in front of me and surrounding the side of my house, long guns pointed at me, heavily armoured vests, ballistic helmets, ballistic shields, a battering ram.”
He described the FBI’s tactics as “recklessness” and an “act of terror.”
“I’m so surprised that someone wasn’t shot or I wasn’t shot. If my kids had picked up one of our airsoft guns that they play around with, they easily could have been shot.”
The Catholic pro-life activist said that when he was arrested, his children were screaming, he had on flip-flops, a pair of shorts, a T-shirt, and was not wearing underwear.
The agents refused him permission to put on underwear, brush his teeth, or put on deodorant, but he was allowed to take his rosary..
Mr. Houck said that he was shackled at the waist and feet when he was handed over to US Marshals in “a pure act of humiliation,” adding that he was treated like he was “a convicted felon” and “like no other person has ever treated” him.
He described his detainment as “the most intimate prayer experience” of his life, adding that he was “at the foot of Calvary” and was at peace.
His lawyers had previously made an open offer to peacefully bring Mr. Houck in for questioning by authorities if required.
He told The War Room host Steve Bannon podcast that he intends to press charges for prosecutorial abuse.
His lawyers want to give the Houck family the opportunity to testify to the US Congress about their ordeal.