NOW: Arrests In Firebombing of Abortion Clinic

( – HAPPENING NOW: Two young men from Orange County, California, including an active-duty U.S. Marine, were arrested on suspicion of perpetrating an act of arson against a Planned Parenthood clinic in Costa Mesa, Southern California.

The accused, Tibet Ergul, 21, and Chance Brannon, 23, a Marine stationed at Camp Pendleton, were arrested on federal charges early Wednesday morning. Their arrest came during an FBI raid at an apartment complex in Irvine, as announced by the U.S. Department of Justice.

According to a criminal complaint, it is alleged that both men were involved in the attack on the clinic on March 13, 2022.

The act of arson entailed throwing a Molotov cocktail at the entrance of the clinic.

Prosecutors said that security footage revealed Ergul and Brannon at the Planned Parenthood facility around 1 a.m., shrouded in hooded sweatshirts and face masks, and hurling the incendiary device. The resulting fire traced up the wall and across the establishment’s ceiling.

The incident’s repercussions led to the clinic’s closure for a morning, causing the cancellation of roughly 30 appointments. Fortunately, no individuals were harmed, and the physical damage to the building was minor.

The complaint also reveals that Ergul texted an acquaintance the day following the incident, ostensibly taking credit for the arson. His message included wishing he “could’ve recorded the combustion.” He also allegedly shared a photograph of his gloved hand gripping the Molotov cocktail within Brannon’s vehicle.

Donald Alway, the assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles field office, addressed the serious nature of the crime in a statement. “The depraved act of launching an improvised explosive device into a public facility put lives at risk and will not be tolerated,” Alway declared.

Ergul and Brannon could face a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison if convicted. The charges levied against them include using an explosive or fire to damage real property affecting interstate commerce.