Police: 3 Sprayed With Tomato Juice Outside Tempe Planned Parenthood

By Alexandra Olgin
Published: Wednesday, January 27, 2016 - 2:59pm
Updated: Thursday, January 28, 2016 - 12:31pm

Planned Parenthood Arizona confirms individuals were sprayed with an unknown substance Tuesday morning outside their Tempe clinic. Tempe police said no one has been harmed.

Around 9:10 a.m., three protesters on the sidewalk outside the clinic on Apache Boulevard were sprayed with liquid by individuals in a passing car, said police spokesman Lt. Michael Pooley.

According to a Tempe police report released Thursday morning, a juvenile leaned out the rear passenger door window of the vehicle and sprayed protestors outside the clinic with a water gun filled with tomato juice. Police said the driver of the vehicle, 34-year-old David Turner, purchased the water gun and tomato juice that morning.

Turner was arrested on suspcion of disorderly conduct and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. The two juveniles in the vehicle may face misdemeanor assault and disorderly conduct charges.

“Planned Parenthood Arizona disapproves of any violent act, no matter who it is aimed at. Incidents like these are never justified," Planned Parenthood spokeswoman Jodi Liggett said Thursday.  "We specifically condemn the actions of those who attacked citizens exercising their first amendment rights in Tempe yesterday.

She believes this could be a reaction to the grand jury decision in Texas. Monday, two activists involved in filming covert videos of the organization were indicted.

“What we would love is if Arizona would take a page out of the Texas notebook and focus on helping keep our patients safe rather than running yet another round of bills attempting to re litigate issues that have already been settled," said Liggett.

She said the organization had been prepared for local reaction to the news and has worked with police departments to strengthen security.

UPDATED at 1/28/2016, at 12:31 p.m.