Illinois Man Pleads Guilty To Trying To Burn Down Planned Abortion Clinic

URBANA, Ill. (AP) — A 73-year-old man has pleaded guilty to driving a car into a planned abortion clinic in eastern Illinois and trying to set the building on fire earlier this year, prosecutors said Wednesday.

Philip J. Buyno of Prophetstown, Illinois, entered the plea Tuesday to a federal charge of attempting to use fire to damage a building used in interstate commerce.

Buyno admitted that, on May 20, he brought several containers filled with gasoline with him and used his car to breach the front entrance to a commercial building in Danville to burn it down before it could be used as a reproductive health clinic, prosecutors said.

Danville police officers responded to an alarm at the building that day around 4:30 a.m. and found Buyno stuck inside a car that he had backed into the entrance of the building, prosecutors said.

During a search of the car, FBI agents found bottles containing gasoline, a hatchet, road flares, old tires and a pack of matches and that Buyno had fortified the trunk of the car with wooden beams, prosecutors said.

Buyno is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 5. He faces five to 20 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, three years of supervised release, and restitution for the damage caused to the building, prosecutors said.