Plano, Texas Man Arrested by FBI for Threatening Deadly Violence at Abortion Clinic in Dallas
April 5, 2010 - DALLAS—Erlyndon J. Lo, 27, was arrested Saturday afternoon by FBI agents at his home in Plano, Texas, on charges that he threatened to use deadly force to stop an abortion at the Southwestern Women’s Surgery Center (SWSC) in Dallas, announced U.S. Attorney James T. Jacks of the Northern District of Texas. Lo made his initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Don Bush, of the Eastern District of Texas, this morning in Plano, however his detention hearing was continued to April 15, 2010, at 9:30 a.m. before Judge Bush. If detained, Lo will be transferred to the custody of the U.S. Marshal for the Northern District of Texas following the hearing.
The federal complaint charges Lo with one count of using interstate commerce to communicate a threat to injure and one count of threatening force to intimidate and interfere with clients and employees of a reproductive health service in order to intimidate that facility’s clients and employees from obtaining and providing reproductive health services.
According to the complaint, at approximately 8:13 a.m. on Friday, April 2, 2010, Lo entered the U.S. District Clerk’s Office in the Plano federal courthouse and filed a document styled “Erlyndon J. Lo v. Roberts, et al. and entitled “Motion for an Immediate Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) Seeking a Preliminary and Permanent Injunction,” seeking to have the district court declare abortion illegal in the U.S. That motion stated in part:
“My life is at stake. I could be MURDERED AND KILLED as early as Friday, April 2, 2010 at 12:00 p.m. NOON in Dallas, Texas (“TX”) if you do not IMMEDIATELY GRANT MY REQUEST for in the very least a TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER!!!”
“I plan on saving at least one human life in Dallas, Texas at 12:00 p.m. at the Southwestern late-term abortion facility, 8616 Greenville Ave. at Royal Ln. (NE corner), Dallas 75243.”
“My religious beliefs include the beliefs that an individual is alive at the moment of conception, abortion is murder and is the worst murder of all murders possible because these babies are completely defenseless, and I am entitled under my religious beliefs to use deadly force if necessary to save the innocent life of another.”
“[Specific facts: ON FRIDAY, APRIL 2, 2010, TOMORROW, I WILL BE AT THE SOUTHWESTERN LATE-TERM ABORTION FACILITY LOCATED AT 8616 Greenville Ave. at Royal Ln. (NE corner), Dallas 75243, I will try to stop an abortion using oral words, and if words are not enough. I will use physical force if necessary, and if anyone tries to physically stop me, I will overcome that force, and if I must use deadly force to defend the innocent life of another human being, I will.”
The complaint notes that approximately three weeks prior to Lo’s filing the TRO, a male, matching his general description, went to the SWSC with a receipt, claiming that he wanted to find out if his wife had an abortion. Employees told the male that they could not give out any information about services or even whether a particular person was a patient.
The complaint further states that in the weeks prior to filing the motion for a TRO, Lo made frequent visits to the Plano courthouse, attempting to speak and speaking with members of the Court and providing his resume to courthouse staff. On a website that Lo maintains, he claims that he is a Southern Methodist University law school graduate and that he has taken the New York bar exam. His website includes an extensive discussion on abortion and references the lawsuit he filed in the Eastern District of Texas, giving its case number and stating:
“I sued John Roberts, the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. The case is pending.”
Lo further states on his website about the case:
“JUDGE RICHARD A. SCHELL WILL BE PRESIDING. IF HE COOPERATES WITH ME, TOGETHER HE AND I WILL PERMANENTLY AND EFFECTIVELY END MURDER/ABORTION FOREVER WITHIN 1 YEAR.”
A federal complaint is a written statement of the essential facts of the offenses charged, and must be made under oath before a magistrate judge. The government has 30 days to present the matter to a grand jury for indictment. A defendant is entitled to the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. The maximum statutory penalty, however, for using interstate commerce to communicate a threat to injure is five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The maximum statutory penalty for threatening force to intimidate and interfere with clients and employees of a reproductive health service in order to intimidate that facility’s clients and employees from obtaining and providing reproductive health services is one year in prison and a $100,000 fine.
The matter is being investigated by the FBI and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Errin Martin.