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Man charged with driving into Planned Parenthood facility

  • Article by: ANTHONY LONETREE
  • Star Tribune
  • January 23, 2009 - 10:44 PM

The man accused of driving into the entrance of the Planned Parenthood clinic in St. Paul on Thursday told police that Jesus instructed him to do it, according to charges filed Friday.

"Stop the murderers," Matthew L. Derosia quoted Jesus as telling him, a criminal complaint said.

Derosia, 32, who has a history of mental illness, faces two counts of first-degree criminal damage to property.

According to the complaint filed Friday in Ramsey County District Court, Derosia, of Cottage Grove, took his mother's boyfriend's vehicle and drove to the Highland Park clinic after he watched abortion coverage on a "Catholic channel" and decided that "he wasn't doing enough protesting."

Images captured by the clinic's surveillance camera showed Derosia driving the SUV west toward the building on the sidewalk, taking a hard right around a short brick wall and striking the front entrance at 7:42 a.m. After ramming the entrance at least one more time, he then got out, and was heard shouting Bible verses and the words, "Close down the Auschwitz death camp," the criminal complaint said. No one was hurt.

The crash left scuff marks and cracked wood in the clinic's front-door frame. Planned Parenthood estimated the damage at between $2,500 and $5,000.

When interviewed by police, Derosia said, "we are in World War III and that Jesus is coming back really soon," the charges say. According to court records, Derosia has been civilly committed for mental illness at least nine times since 2004.

Thursday's incident occurred on the anniversary of the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion. About an hour after the crash, about 60 abortion foes picketed at the clinic during a rally led by Pro-Life Action Ministries. Derosia made his first court appearance Friday. Bail was set at $25,000.

Anthony Lonetree • 651-298-1545

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