DAVENPORT (AP) — A man accused of ramming his car into a women's clinic and then setting his car on fire thought it was an abortion clinic, police said Tuesday.
“He was using his car to torch the building,” Davenport police Detective Mike Bowers said.
David Robert McMenemy, 45, of Sterling Heights, Mich., is charged with second-degree arson. He's accused of driving his car into the Edgerton Women's Health Center about 4:30 a.m. on Monday.
The center does not perform abortions and does not provide abortion referrals, said Tom Fedje, the president of the clinic. He said the clinic does advise pregnant women on the various options available to them.
Planned Parenthood of Greater Iowa is monitoring the incident, spokeswoman Kathi Di Nicola said. Planned Parenthood is the only agency to provide abortions in the Quad Cities, performing the procedure at its center in Bettendorf.
Bowers said McMenemy apparently thought the Edgerton center performed abortions.
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“He drove into the clinic and set his car on fire using an accelerant. He knew what he was doing. He planned it. It wasn't an accident,” Bowers said.
Bowers said McMenemy has no ties to the Davenport area, and has been driving around the Midwest since August.
“He has admitted looking them (abortion clinics) up in phone books and online,” Bowers said. “I have no idea why Iowa.”
The small car traveled through a parking lot, over the center's driveway and through the glass double-doors at the entrance to the lobby.
The driver walked out of the building and approached firefighters, saying he wanted to talk, officials said.
Bowers estimated damage to the building at more than $20,000. No one was in the building at the time, and McMenemy was not injured.
McMenemy remained in the Scott County jail on Tuesday. No bond was set, officials said.