The FBI responded on Sept. 26 to media reports and claims that it sent a SWAT team to raid the Pennsylvania home of pro-life activist Mark Houck.
“There are inaccurate claims being made regarding the arrest of Mark Houck. No SWAT Team or SWAT operators were involved,” the FBI Philadelphia office told The Epoch Times. “FBI agents knocked on Mr. Houck’s front door, identified themselves as FBI agents, and asked him to exit the residence. He did so and was taken into custody without incident pursuant to an indictment.”
However, when reached for comment, the bureau didn’t directly address claims made by Houck’s wife, Ryan-Marie Houck, that agents had their guns drawn and pointed them at her and Mark Houck.
“While it’s the FBI’s standard practice not to discuss such operational specifics, we can say that the number of personnel and vehicles widely reported as being on scene Friday is an overstatement, and the tactics used by FBI personnel were professional, in line with standard practices, and intended to ensure the safety of everyone present in and outside the residence,” the statement reads.
The FBI also didn’t address an allegation that their children could see the arrest and “were all just screaming” while the arrest was being carried out. The bureau’s Sept. 26 comment to The Epoch Times also appears to be a boilerplate FBI statement that was sent to other media outlets about Houck’s arrest.
The agents “had big, huge rifles pointed at Mark and pointed at me and kind of pointed throughout the house,” Ryan-Marie Houck told LifeSite News.
“Our staircase is open, so [the kids] were all at the top of the stairs which faces the front door, and I was on the stairs as well, coming down,” she said. “The kids were all just screaming. It was all just very scary and traumatic.”
In an interview with the Catholic News Agency, Ryan-Marie said agents allegedly told them they were going to break down the door if they didn’t open it.
“They had about five guns pointed at my husband, myself, and basically at my kids,” she said, noting that upward of 25 agents were involved in the raid. The FBI didn’t comment on the number of agents that were used in the arrest.
An unnamed FBI source told Fox News that there were possibly 15 to 20 agents, denying that 25 were there.
The individual also said the agents who arrived at the door had guns out already and firearms were never pointed at Houck, his wife, or his children, and the guns were lowered and holstered once he was arrested. Another unnamed law enforcement official told Fox News that agents never entered the house. The Epoch Times couldn’t independently verify either claim.
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