A Texas woman admitted to police this week that she threw a Molotov cocktail-type device at a Planned Parenthood clinic in South Austin.
The Austin American-Statesman reported that an anti-abortion group was holding a prayer vigil outside the Planned Parenthood clinic Monday night when someone drove by and threw a flaming bottle out of their car window.
Ruth Allwein with the Texas Alliance for Life told officers that she stomped out the bottle and pulled out the wick. The liquid in the bottle turned out to be Gumout gas treatment, which is flammable. It reportedly burned an area of grass about the size of small pizza before it was put out.
Although the vehicle’s license plate had been obscured with cardboard, activists provided police with enough information to arrest 52-year-old Melanie Marie Toney.
At first, Toney denied that she had thrown the bottle. But she later admitted that she threw it and that it “might” have been smoldering.
Toney was charged with felony aggravated assault, and was being held in lieu of $25,000 bond.
An arrest affidavit said that Toney’s motive was not completely clear. But anti-abortion protesters told police that they felt like they had been targeted.
“We are just very sad this happened and we are thankful no one was hurt,” Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas President Ken Lambrecht told KVUE. “The health and safety of anyone coming in or near Planned Parenthood Health Center is of the utmost importance to us.”
The South Austin Planned Parenthood has surveillance cameras, security guards and high fences in place to protect patients and staff.
Watch the video below from KVUE, broadcast March 25, 2015.