DANVILLE, IL – Philip J. Buyno, a 73-year-old resident of Prophetstown, Illinois, has confessed to an act of arson aimed at a yet-to-be-opened abortion clinic in eastern Illinois. Prosecutors revealed on Wednesday that Buyno pleaded guilty to a federal charge of attempting to use fire to damage a building involved in interstate commerce.
On May 20, Buyno arrived at a commercial building in Danville with several containers filled with gasoline. His plan was to ram his car into the front entrance and set the building on fire before it could begin operations as a reproductive health clinic, according to the prosecution’s statements.
Buyno’s actions against the Planned Parenthood clinic could result in a prison sentence of five to 20 years. The incident came to light when an alarm at the building was triggered around 4:30 a.m., prompting the Danville police to respond. They found Buyno stuck inside his car, which he had backed into the entrance of the building.
Further investigation by FBI agents revealed a collection of potentially destructive items in Buyno’s car. These included gasoline-filled bottles, a hatchet, road flares, old tires, and a pack of matches. The prosecution also noted that Buyno had fortified his car’s trunk with wooden beams.
Buyno’s sentencing is set for February 5. He could face a fine of up to $250,000, three years of supervised release, and may be ordered to pay restitution for the damage caused to the building, in addition to the potential prison sentence.