SMU Law Grad Arrested After Filing Court Document Threatening Abortion Clinic
Posted Apr 6, 2010 6:46 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss
A 2007 graduate of Southern Methodist University law school was arrested after he sought a federal restraining order against police so he could use deadly force at an abortion clinic.
Erlyndon Joseph Lo of Plano, Texas, said in a court filing on Friday morning that his aim was to “defend the innocent life of another human being,” the Dallas Morning News reports. He had filed a federal lawsuit seeking to outlaw abortion on March 18, and said in the Friday filing that he would use deadly force unless the U.S. Supreme Court acted immediately to stop the practice.
The court filing listed the clinic where Lo planned to carry out his attack, its address and the time he would arrive—noon on Friday, the Associated Press reports. He was arrested the next day. FBI spokesman Mark White told AP he was unsure if Lo showed up on Friday, but precautions were taken to make sure there “wasn't going to be an issue at the clinic."
Lo’s suit had named Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. as a defendant and sought more than $999 trillion in damages.
Clinic employees told police a man matching Lo’s description had visited the clinic weeks earlier and asked if his wife had an abortion there. The AP story says it’s unclear if Lo is married; he lives with his parents.
The FBI criminal complaint described Lo’s behavior during several courthouse visits. "During these visits, Lo exhibited erratic behavior, including raising his voice at members of the clerk's office, obsessively washing his hands in the public restroom and sitting in a court witness room in the dark without authorization to enter the room,” according to a criminal complaint cited by the Dallas Morning News.
Lo’s website said he took the New York bar exam in February, but the Dallas Morning News was not able to confirm Monday whether the claim was true.
Lo was 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 a reproductive health service, according to the FBI press release.