Authorities mull terror charges in Planned Parenthood crash
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — A Massachusetts man began researching the locations of Planned Parenthood clinics more than a year before he deliberately crashed a stolen truck into one last week, injuring three people, including a pregnant woman, prosecutors said Friday.
The state attorney general’s office will review the case to see if terrorism charges should be filed against Marckles Alcius, a Haitian national who is not a U.S. citizen but is believed to be in the country legally.
The 31-year-old gave authorities an address in Lowell, northwest of Boston, that turned out to be an abandoned building, Assistant Essex County Prosecutor Adam Wells said.
Alcius indicated to investigators after his arrest that the act was intentional and that he was willing to die, Wells told a judge in seeking to deny Alcius’s attorney’s request that he be released while awaiting trial.
“It was personal, and I don’t care what happens after that,” Alcius said during an interview, Wells told state Superior Court Judge Peter Ryan. Wells didn’t discuss what might have motivated Alcius.
“When I asked him if he would do it again, he paused for eight seconds and then said, ‘I don’t know,’” Wells added.
Ryan, rejecting a recommendation from pre-trial services to release Alcius with electronic monitoring, ordered him held in the Essex County jail. Alcius poses a significant threat to Planned Parenthood employees, he said.
Alcius, who prosecutors said has been living with relatives, including some who live in the Newark area, faces numerous charges, including aggravated assault and attempting to cause widespread injury or damage.
He allegedly stole a bakery delivery truck that was making deliveries on Feb. 14 and drove it into the clinic in East Orange, just west of Newark.
A clinic staff member and two patients — including a pregnant woman — suffered minor injuries and were treated at a hospital and released, Wells said.
Alcius wasn’t hurt.
Wells said electronic evidence reviewed by investigators indicates Alcius had done online research on Planned Parenthood locations in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New Jersey beginning in January 2017.
Susan Freedman, a public defender representing Alcius, said her client has no criminal record and accused investigators of not properly instructing him of his rights to have a lawyer present at his interview.
Wells denied the allegation and noted that Alcius has four previous arrests in Massachusetts, including for burglary and assault and battery, though he didn’t know the status of those cases.