Lower Michigan man charged with arson of Kalamazoo Planned Parenthood

Authorities believe this subject was involved in a July 31, 2022 fire in Kalamazoo.
Authorities believe this subject was involved in a July 31, 2022 fire in Kalamazoo.(WILX)
Published: Aug. 4, 2022 at 4:24 PM EDT
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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WLUC) - Joshua Brereton, 25 of Paw Paw, was charged with setting fire to a Planned Parenthood building in Kalamazoo by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

On July 31, 2022, law enforcement received a report of a fire in progress at the Planned Parenthood in Kalamazoo. An investigation, which included review of video surveillance from the fire scene, revealed that, at approximately 4:00 p.m., a man now identified as Brereton breached the fence surrounding the building, used a combustible fuel to ignite the exterior bushes of the building, lit a fireplace starter log, and then threw the burning log onto the roof of the building, ultimately starting two separate fires. After the fires started, Brereton fled the scene.

The complaint alleges that approximately an hour before setting the fire, Brereton purchased citronella torch fuel, a Duraflame starter log, and a utility lighter from a Walmart in Paw Paw, Mich. He also purchased a baseball cap similar to the one depicted being worn by the suspect in Planned Parenthood’s surveillance footage.

Prior to the fire, the complaint also alleges that Brereton posted a video to his YouTube channel talking about abortion and abortion policy and referring to abortion as “genocide.” In the video, Brereton also encouraged others to “step out of your comfort zone” and lend a hand in the fight.

If convicted of the arson charge, Brereton faces up to 20 years in prison and a mandatory minimum sentence of five years.

Brereton’s arrest followed a joint investigation by multiple law enforcement agencies, including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety (KDPS). The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Stephanie Carowan.

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