Wednesday, January 02, 2008

69-year-old Pro-Lifer Assaulted and Seriously Injured

Police Allow Assailant to Leave Crime Scene and Threaten to Arrest Witnesses

From "69-year-old Pro-Lifer Assaulted and Seriously Injured" by John Conolly, posted 1/2/07 at

HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania, January 2, 2007 ( - A 69-year-old pro-life sidewalk counselor was assaulted and seriously injured on December 22 while attempting to talk to a woman over a privacy fence, resulting in serious injuries.

Ed Snell, a counselor with a group that talks to women to convince them not to go into the Hillcrest abortion clinic, was pushed from a platform attached to the top of his truck which enabled him to talk over the 7-foot privacy fence the clinic erected in an attempt to prevent the counselors from talking to the women.

The man who attacked Snell jumped the fence and "leaped on the vehicle with Ed and catapulted him off of the vehicle and onto the ground," said John McTernan, a fellow activist and good friend of Snell.

Snell's friends called 911 when it appeared he was unconscious. When police arrived, witnesses identified the assailant, only to be met with arrest threats from the female officer who was dispatched. She allowed the attacker to go free, and police only arrested the man after the serious nature of Snell's injuries was released.

"It is unbelievable that an officer would allow an attacker to go free after inflicting life-threatening injuries on an elderly gentleman, then threaten to arrest the witness to the crime," said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. "That was not only unprofessional conduct, but it showed a fundamental lack of respect for Mr. Snell's life and beliefs. She should face serious discipline."

When the Hillcrest abortion clinic was called for comment, the receptionist shouted, "He got what he deserved! He earned what he got!" before hanging up.

Mr. Snell suffered internal hemorrhaging in his head, four compression fractures of vertebrae, a broken shoulder and two broken ribs. Doctors feared he might die before they were able to stop the hemorrhaging.

Snell was released from the hospital on Christmas Eve, and is currently recovering in his home in Harrisburg. Doctors expect his injuries to take eight weeks to heal. Bishop Kevin Rhodes of Harrisburg visited Snell on the day he was released.