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U.S. arrests man for firebombing Wisconsin anti-abortion group“s office

2023-03-28T18:35:49Z

A threat is spray painted on the building wall near Wisconsin Family Action’s offices in Madison, Wisconsin, U.S. May 8, 2022. Molly Beck/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel/USA TODAY NETWORK

U.S. prosecutors on Tuesday charged a Wisconsin man with firebombing a conservative anti-abortion group’s office last May, just days after a leaked draft of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling overturning the nationwide right to abortion became public.

Hridindu Sankar Roychowdhury, 29, was arrested at an airport in Boston after authorities said DNA from a thrown-away bag containing a partially eaten burrito had helped them identify who caused the May 8 fire at Wisconsin Family Action’s office.

Prosecutors said Roychowdhury had recently left Wisconsin and bought a one-way ticket for a flight Tuesday morning from Boston to Guatemala City. He was charged with maliciously attempting to damage and destroy the organization’s building.

His lawyer did not respond to a request for comment.

The fire at Wisconsin Family Action’s office occurred just days after Politico on May 2 published a draft of the U.S. Supreme Court’s blockbuster ruling overturning the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that had legalized abortion nationwide.

The draft opinion, authored by conservative Justice Samuel Alito, set off a political firestorm, with abortion-rights supporters staging protests nationwide. It was only marginally different than the final decision issued on June 24.

Wisconsin Family Action says its mission is to “advance Judeo-Christian principles and values in Wisconsin by strengthening, preserving, and promoting marriage, family, life, and liberty.”

The group, which opposes abortion, did not respond to a request for comment.

The fire occurred in the early morning on May 8. Prosecutors said that components of a Molotov cocktail were recovered, and outside of the building, someone had spray painted “if abortions aren’t safe then you aren’t either.”

According to a criminal complaint, investigators recovered DNA from that Molotov cocktail, a building window and a lighter that matched Roychowdhury’s DNA, which law enforcement recovered from a thrown-away burrito meal.

Law enforcement identified Roychowdhury as a suspect after investigating a separate graffiti incident at the Wisconsin State Capitol and tracing a truck used by the suspects to a house in which Roychowdhury resides.

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