It seems that the party of love and tolerance isn’t so loving and tolerant after all…
PHOENIX, Az. – An interesting turn of events recently transpired stemming from a peaceful protest outside of an abortion clinic in Phoenix, Arizona. A Phoenix doctor who is employed at the Acacia Women’s Center in central Phoenix is in custody after being accused of pointing a gun at protesters from the inside of his vehicle outside of the clinic.
The exchange took place nearly two weeks earlier on Thursday, October 10, where the alleged crime was caught on camera by a pro-life protester’s body camera. As one of the protesters, Elvis Kesto, was amid the parking lot of the women’s center, they had approached a red vehicle, in which the person inside can be seen brandishing what looks to be a firearm pointing directly at Elvis Kesto’s body camera. The alleged driver of the vehicle is Ronald Yunis, one of the doctors who work at the clinic.
Pastor Jeff Durbin, an anti-abortion activist who frequents demonstrations outside of that very clinic, but was not there on the day of the alleged crime, had the following to say:
“We are peaceful Christians out here to minister,” and continued saying that there’s “no basis under law to pull out a weapon and point it at somebody.”
The video of Kesto’s body camera footage was released online that showcased the interaction and alleged crime, also adding in a slow-motion version of the instance where a firearm is believed to be brandished. After the interaction, Elvis Kesto immediately contacted the Phoenix Police to report what had occurred.
On October 17, while demonstrating in front of Acacia Women’s Center again, Kesto contacted the Phoenix Police once again when he noticed Yunis arrive in the same red vehicle as before, and he had requested that an officer be sent over to the scene.
Phoenix Police Officer Bobby Madeira and another officer identified as Officer Wilson arrived on scene at the clinic within an hour of the call placed on the 17th in order to speak with Kesto. After speaking with Kesto and also reviewing the video he had captured the week prior, the two officers entered the clinic in order to speak with Ronald Yunis.
After police had spoken with Yunis inside of the clinic, Officer Madeira made his way back outside and had informed Kesto that there was not enough evidence to make an arrest. Officer Madeira said that although he reviewed the video and the still images from the video, he could not “conclusively” say that it was a gun that Yunis was holding. The officer also stated Yunis denies that he ever brings a gun to the clinic.
Needless to say, the activists who were at the clinic that day from End Abortion Now were quite perplexed as to why the officers on scene weren’t seeing on the video what they believed they saw. Pastor Durbin commented:
“To be fair, if one of our people out here had brandished and pulled a weapon on the abortionist, I would expect the person to be arrested and I want the same for him.”
No arrest was made that day after Kesto had filed the report, but Phoenix Police Department Detective Luis Samudio had told Faithwire via email the following day that detectives are currently investigating the incident, and that it is “not accurate” to insinuate that nothing is being done simply because the accused was not yet arrested.
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However, what the officers were not aware of was that they were being recorded during the interaction on the 17th where the officers had made mention of there being insufficient evidence to make an arrest. Pastor Durbin, the following day on the 18th, had released the video online under the Apologia Studios YouTube channel, making sure to also include in the video the alleged brandished firearm interaction. Within 4 hours of the video going online and amassing tens-of-thousands of views, the Phoenix Police Department had informed Kesto that they plan to arrest Ronald Yunis.
— Tré Goins-Phillips (@tregp) October 18, 2019
On Friday, October 18, Phoenix Police had arrested Ronald Yunis on charges of aggravated assault. There was no comment with regard to whether the video interaction with the Phoenix Police Officers had played a role in the department’s decision to move forward with charges.