‘It Was Terrifying’: Pro-Life Activist’s Wife Shares How FBI Agents, Guns Drawn, Arrested Her Husband In Front Of Kids

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‘It Was Terrifying’: Pro-Life Activist’s Wife Shares How FBI Agents, Guns Drawn, Arrested Her Husband In Front Of Kids

Laurel Duggan on October 7, 2022

Pro-life activist Mark Houck’s children screamed and cried as at least 15 FBI agents stormed their home and arrested their father, pointing guns at both Houck and his wife, Ryan-Marie Houck, she said in a video statement shared with the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Houck was arrested by the FBI in a dramatic show of force Sept. 23 over a 2021 altercation between Houck and a volunteer outside an abortion clinic. When federal agents pointed guns at the parents and in the direction of their seven children, the children began screaming and begging the officers not to take their father away, Ryan-Marie Houck said in a video shared by the Thomas Moore Society, which is providing legal representation for her husband.

At least 15 police vehicles containing heavily armed agents with shields and rifles surrounded the house the morning of Mark Houck’s arrest, waking up their children, who came downstairs and witnessed the arrest from the living room, according to Ryan-Marie Houck.

“Mark says, ‘Please, I have seven babies in the house. I’m going to open the door, but please, I have seven babies,’” she said. “He opens the door and immediately there’s guns pointed at him, a gun pointed at me on the staircase and another gun over our threshold and scanning the home. Our children were right there … essentially they had guns pointed at them.”

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“Everything is very chaotic because the children are just crazy. They’re crying and screaming, and my one son said ‘He’s my best friend, you can’t take him, he’s my best friend,’” she said. “It was terrifying. The children are screaming and crying. You just figure one move from a 4-year-old and something tragic could have happened.”

A grand jury indicted Mark Houck Sept. 23 for alleged violations of the FACE Act, which makes it a federal crime to use force with the intent to injure, intimidate or interfere with anyone because that person is a “provider of reproductive health care.” Houck, a pro-life activist, allegedly shoved a volunteer abortion clinic escort, though Houck’s attorney told the DCNF the volunteer had approached him and was behaving very aggressively while harassing Houck’s 12-year-old son.

Houck’s attorney offered to bring him to wherever the U.S. attorney’s office wanted him voluntarily in June, but he didn’t get a response until after the September arrest, according to emails between Houck’s attorney and Assistant U.S. Attorney Anita Eve obtained by the DCNF.

A spokesman from FBI’s Philadelphia office told the DCNF that some reports were overstating the number of officers present, though he did not clarify how many were there or comment on the report that officers had pointed guns at members of the Houck family. He said it is standard practice to decline discussing operational specifics.

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