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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Central District of Illinois
For Immediate Release
Gregory K. Harris, United States Attorney
www.justice.gov/usao-cdil
Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Chillicothe, Illinois, Man Charged With Setting Fire to Planned Parenthood

PEORIA, Ill. – A Chillicothe, Illinois, man, Tyler W. Massengill, 32, of the 1000 block of North Sante Fe Avenue, has been arrested and charged by criminal complaint with malicious use of fire and an explosive to damage, and attempt to damage, the Planned Parenthood building in Peoria, Illinois.

On January 15, 2023, law enforcement received a report of a fire in progress at the Planned Parenthood in Peoria. Subsequent investigation, including a review of area surveillance from the fire scene, revealed that at approximately 11:20 PM, an older white pickup truck with red doors parked in an area adjacent to Planned Parenthood. Video footage depicts a man walking up to the building with a laundry detergent-sized bottle. The man lit a rag on fire on one end of the bottle, smashed a window with an object, then placed the container inside of the Planned Parenthood building. He then quickly left the area on foot.

The complaint alleges that law enforcement, acting on several tips, linked the truck to Massengill and ultimately recovered the truck from an individual in Sparland, Illinois, where Massengill had left it with a request to paint its doors white. After Massengill’s truck was seized, Massengill met with investigators at the Peoria Police Department on January 24, 2023, and was taken into custody.

If convicted of the malicious use of fire charge, Massengill faces a mandatory minimum sentence of imprisonment of at least five years and could receive up to 40 years in prison. The charges also carry up to three years of supervised release and a possible fine of up to $250,000.

Massengill’s arrest followed investigation by multiple law enforcement agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Springfield Field Office; the Peoria Police Department; and the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The Peoria Fire Department is also participating in the investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ronald L. Hanna and Trial Attorney Erin Monju of the Civil Rights Division’s Criminal Section at the U.S. Department of Justice.

Members of the public are reminded that the charges in a complaint are merely accusations, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.

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