In a huge display of excessive force, witnesses say up to 30 heavily armed FBI agents swarmed a pro-life Christian activist’s home to arrest him over a minor incident that happened at a Philadelphia abortion clinic a year ago.
A spokesman for Mark Houck says as he put his hands up and willingly cooperated with multiple agents, they screamed orders and pounded on the door while pointing their guns at the faces of Mr. Houck and his wife.
Their seven children watched their father “shackled” and taken away.
48-year-old Mr. Houck was released later the same day.
Pennsylvania State Senator and Republican nominee for Governor Doug Mastriano called it an abuse of power that stands against the fundamental principles on which the United States was founded.
The FBI refused to officially clarify how many agents were needed to arrest Mr. Houck, but an FBI source conceded to Fox News it could have been up to 20.
That source confirmed the agents were armed, but denied guns were pointed at the Houcks.
In a statement to Faithwire the FBI said: “FBI agents knocked on Mr. Houck’s front door, identified themselves as FBI agents, and asked him to exit the residence. He did so and was taken into custody without incident pursuant to an indictment.”
Houck family representative Brian Middleton took issue with the FBI’s response, which he said zeroed in on getting a technicality incorrect while in the midst of being “traumatised by a whole bunch of FBI guys with weapons, body armour and shields” who were banging on their door.
The raid was over an altercation with a volunteer at a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic.
Mr. Middleton said the volunteer verbally abused Mr Houck’s 12-year-old son with vile language, and when the father intervened he pushed the man who fell on the ground.
Police declined to pursue the case because of a lack of evidence.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) immediately advised Mr. Houck he was still under investigation, but he never heard from the department again until the heavily armed FBI agents swarmed his home, nearly one year after the incident.
Faithwire noted: “The DOJ seems less eager to punish those responsible for the wave of recent assaults against pro-life pregnancy centers, with no FBI arrests being made despite 60-plus attacks on crisis pregnancy centers.”