The man arrested for smashing windows at the Planned Parenthood in Spokane Valley over the weekend allegedly was angry over a family member who had abortions and later died by suicide, according to police.
Joshua D. Balazs, 43, was arrested and booked into the Spokane County Jail on suspicion of felony malicious mischief in connection to the vandalism.
Balazs smashed 18 windows at the health care facility Saturday, according to court documents.
An officer on scene said the suspect “called Planned Parenthood ‘baby killers,’” said Paul Dillon, vice president of public affairs for Planned Parenthood of Greater Washington and North Idaho.
The incident was recorded on security cameras, Dillon said.
“He collected a bunch of rocks and started smashing windows in the building, including every front window and the main clinic entrance,” Dillon said.
The damage was estimated at $8,000, said Mark Gregory, a spokesperson for the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office.
Balazs told police after he was arrested that he was glad he broke the windows because he had a family member who had multiple abortions and later died by suicide.
This isn’t the first time the Spokane Valley Planned Parenthood has been targeted. In 1996, members of a white supremacist group set off bombs at the clinic, at the Valley Spokesman-Review office and at a nearby bank in the course of two robberies of the bank.
At Balazs’ first court appearance Tuesday afternoon, Commissioner Nichole Swennumson noted Balazs had been released from Benton County Jail on June 19. In September , he was arrested in Kennewick for allegedly assaulting two random citizens while intoxicated, according to the Kennewick Police Department.
Balazs has a lengthy criminal history, including charges in multiple states from Utah to Hawaii, Swennumson said.
Balazs’ defense attorney, Stephanie Cady, told the court Balazs had been in Spokane to attend a treatment program at American Behavioral Health Systems (ABHS). She also said his mental health and substance abuse issues have been affected by his sister’s suicide.
Balazs remained in the Spokane County Jail Tuesday on a $2,500 bond.
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