Man charged with firebombing pro-life office in Wisconsin

Last May I wrote about an arson attack that took place at the offices of a pro-life organization in Wisconsin. The fire at Wisconsin Family Action was pretty clearly arson both because investigators found one Molotov cocktail that failed to break and because the person responsible left graffiti on the outside of the building.

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Someone also painted the anarchy symbol and the number “1312” which is code for “ACAB,” the shortened version of the anarchist motto “all cops are bastards.” It was just one of a number of similar attacks that took place last year in the wake of the release of a draft opinion from the Supreme Court overturning Roe v Wade. In fact, the Wisconsin attack took place about a week after Politico published the draft.

There was a report from the Daily Signal last October that, six months after the Wisconsin attack, Wisconsin Family Action hadn’t heard a word from the FBI about the case.

The militant abortion group Jane’s Revenge claimed responsibility for the attack, calling the firebombing “just a warning” and promising that more would follow if pro-life centers do not cease their work: “We demand the disbanding of all anti-choice establishments, fake clinics and violent anti-choice groups within the next 30 days.”

Today the Department of Justice revealed that someone had finally been arrested in connection with the Wisconsin case, though for some reason the press release has the bland and minimally accurate headline “Wisconsin Man Charged with Firebombing Building.”

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According to court documents, Hridindu Sankar Roychowdhury, 29, of Madison, is charged with one count of attempting to cause damage by means of fire or an explosive. Roychowdhury was arrested earlier today in Boston…

According to the complaint, on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 8, 2022, at approximately 6:06 a.m., law enforcement responded to an active fire at an office building located in Madison, Wisconsin. Once inside the building, police observed a mason jar under a broken window; the jar was broken, and the lid and screw top were burned black. The police also saw a purple disposable lighter near the mason jar. On the opposite wall from the window, the police saw another mason jar with the lid on and a blue cloth tucked into the top; the cloth was singed. The jar was about half full of a clear fluid that smelled like an accelerant. Outside of the building, someone spray painted on one wall, “If abortions aren’t safe then you aren’t either” and, on another wall, a large “A” with a circle around it and the number “1312.” During the investigation, law enforcement collected DNA from the scene of the attack.

Wisconsin Public Radio describes how Roychowdhury was identified. Turns out police were able to spot his graffiti handwriting and then were able to identify his DNA off a burrito wrapper.

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This past January, police assigned to protecting the state Capitol building in Madison reviewed surveillance video of a protest against police brutality. The footage showed several people spray-painting graffiti on Capitol grounds. The graffiti resembled the graffiti at the Wisconsin Family Action office.

The footage showed two people leaving the area in a white pickup truck, which investigators tracked to Roychowdhury’s residence in Madison, according to the complaint. Police began following him.

On March 1, he pulled into a Madison park-and-ride and threw away a bag of fast food. After he left, police retrieved the bag from the trash can. DNA on a burrito in the bag matched DNA taken from the Wisconsin Family Action office, according to the complaint.

Roychowdhury was on his way out of the country this morning when he was arrested in Boston’s Logan airport.

In March 2023, Roychowdhury travelled from Madison, Wisconsin, to Portland, Maine, and he purchased a one-way ticket from Boston to Guatemala City, departing this morning. Law enforcement arrested Roychowdhury at Boston Logan International Airport. Roychowdhury will have a detention hearing in Boston.

Assuming prosecutors don’t plead this down, Roychowdhury is facing a minimum of five years in prison. Apparently there were two other DNA samples found at the scene and those other two individuals still haven’t been identified. So it’s possible he’ll have a chance to save himself a few years by turning on his comrades.

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This popped up in a Twitter search. The name and location are certainly right. This would have been just a few months before the firebombing.

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Beege Welborn 5:00 PM | June 18, 2024
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