Ellettsville man arrested for Planned Parenthood vandalism

Benjamin Curell

An Ellettsville man is in the Monroe County Jail after allegedly causing $2,500 in damage to the Planned Parenthood clinic in Bloomington.

Officers say Benjamin Curell broke into the facility around 4:00 am Thursday morning and damaged office equipment with an ax.

Authorities say there was red paint splashed on the building.

Curell told police he targeted the facility on South College Avenue because abortions were performed there and said he wanted to damage the building because he believes they "kill" and "murder" babies. He attributed his actions to his religious beliefs.

Planned Parenthood of Indiana President and CEO Betty Cockrum released this statement:

"First and foremost, we are extremely thankful that no one was in the building at the time of this incident. Our thoughts are with our staff, who understandably are quite shaken by this news.

We are still determining the extent of the property damage, but we do know that the front door was destroyed, and the front office and some office equipment were also heavily damaged. We are happy to say that it appears no confidential patient information was accessed by this vandal.

We are of course working closely with local law enforcement regarding this incident, but no matter what the case, this individual will not deter us from continuing our mission to provide preventive care such as birth control, Pap tests, testicular and breast exams and STD testing and treatment, in addition to abortion services, in Bloomington.

While the center is only open for limited purposes today, it will again be fully up and running as soon as possible. We will protect our patients and our staff, and we will rise above, as we always do."