Baltimore police release video of brutal attack on pro-lifers outside Planned Parenthood

The Baltimore Police Department is seeking the public's help in identifying this suspect, who was captured on surveillance footage assaulting pro-life activists outside a Planned Parenthood in the city on May 26, 2023. | Screenshot: YouTube/Baltimore Police

Baltimore City Police have released video footage of a brutal attack against pro-life activists as they continue searching for the perpetrator.

On Thursday, the Baltimore City Police Department released surveillance video footage of a brutal assault on two elderly pro-life activists praying outside a Planned Parenthood clinic.

“#BPD Detectives in the Central District need your help identifying a suspect involved in an assault that took place on May 26, 2023, in the 300 block of North Howard Street around 10:20 a.m.,” the Department announced in a Facebook post.

“Surveillance video shows the suspect assault two men outside of the Planned Parenthood,” the post added. Those with information about the perpetrator, who remains at large, are asked to call 410-396-2411 or anonymously call Metro Crime Stoppers of Maryland at 1-866-7LOCKUP. 

A link to a YouTube video documenting the assault accompanied the Facebook post. The video shows the suspect angrily wagging his finger at a pro-life activist, identified as Dick Schaefer, before tackling the man to the ground and knocking over a potted plant in the process.

When another pro-life activist rushed over to address the situation, the suspect tackled him to the ground and punched him in the face before kicking him and walking away. Based on the surveillance video footage, the Baltimore Police described the suspect as a white male in his 20s with a full beard wearing a gray T-shirt, blue jeans and brown shoes. 

Baltimore County Right to Life CEO Jay Walton posted a picture of the second pro-life activist, Mark Crosby, with a bloody face and shirt as well as a severely injured right eye in the aftermath of the attack on his Facebook account. The pro-life group later described the injuries sustained by Crosby in a statement published on May 30.

“Mr. Crosby was transported to the University of Maryland’s shock trauma facility where he was treated for his injuries,” the statement read. “Mr. Crosby’s plate bone in his upper right cheek is completely fractured and the bones in his right eye orbit are completely shattered and will have to be replaced with metal.” 

Walton launched a fundraiser on the crowdfunding platform GoFundMe to cover the medical expenses Crosby incurred as a result of the attack. Before Walton disabled new donations to the fundraiser, it brought in $41,881. Walton posted an update on June 14, nearly three weeks after the assault, stating that “Mark Crosby has declined the funds we raised for him” and encouraging the pro-life community to “please support your local pregnancy help centers and pro-life groups.” 

The assault on Crosby and Schaefer took place as abortion discourse in the U.S. has become quite impassioned following the U.S. Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organizationdecision determining that the U.S. Constitution does not contain a right to abortion. The Dobbs decision, which overturned the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion nationwide, has resulted in outrage from pro-abortion activists as pro-life advocates have celebrated the development. 

Crosby and Schaefer are not the first pro-life activists to find themselves subject to an assault following the release of the Dobbs decision last June. Last summer, a teenage volunteer working with the pro-life group Students for Life of America was assaulted in Kansas as she engaged in door-knocking on behalf of an ultimately unsuccessful referendum that would have declared that Kansas' state Constitution also doesn't contain a right to abortion. 

Shortly after the Kansas assault, a 37-year-old woman was arrested for misdemeanor battery in connection with the incident and released. Later last year, an octogenarian volunteer door-knocking in opposition to an ultimately successful ballot measure designed to establish a right to abortion in Michigan's state Constitution was shot in the shoulder. The suspect in that case was charged with assault with a deadly weapon, careless discharge causing injury and reckless use of a firearm.

Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at:

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