Texas man threatens deadly force to stop abortion
DALLAS — A Texas man faces charges after he filed documents in federal court threatening to use deadly force to stop an abortion if the U.S. Supreme Court didn't act immediately to outlaw the practice, federal officials said yesterday.
Erlyndon Joseph “Joey” Lo, 27, of Plano, filed documents there April 2 saying his religious beliefs entitled him to use deadly force to prevent an abortion. He listed the name of a clinic, its address and the time he was going to show up — noon that day.
“I plan on saving at least one human life in Dallas, Texas,” Lo wrote.
FBI spokesman Mark White said he was unsure whether Lo went at that time, but said agents worked with Dallas police “to make sure there wasn't going to be an issue at the clinic.” Lo was arrested April 3.
“We take threats to women's clinics very seriously,” White said. “And this threat was very specific in its nature.”
Lo is charged 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 an abortion clinic to intimidate the facility's clients and employees from obtaining and providing services.
Lo made an initial appearance yesterday in Plano and his detention hearing was postponed until April 15. He does not have a listed phone number and is acting as his own attorney.
Calls to the clinic, Southwestern Women's Surgery Center, went to an answering service last night. A Dallas police spokesman refused to comment.
Clinic employees told authorities a man matching Lo's description showed up weeks earlier with a receipt, asking if his wife had had an abortion, according to federal officials. They told him they could not disclose any information or even confirm whether an individual was a patient. It is unclear whether Lo is married. Authorities said yesterday that he lived with his parents.
In his complaint against the Supreme Court, Lo said he was filing a class-action lawsuit seeking more than $999 trillion in damages. He asked the court to pay him $1,000 an hour in attorney fees.
Lo equated abortion to murder, and said his religious convictions required him to kill in order to prevent women from terminating pregnancies.
“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,” Lo wrote.