Mark Houck a well-known Catholic speaker and pro-life advocate was arrested at his home in a "frightening and traumatic" encounter in front of his 7 minor children. His wife Ryan-Marie Houck recalled how members of the FBI's Special Weapons and Tactics Unit (SWAT) "started banging on the door" of their home "with huge rifles" and " had all the kids screaming."
The arrest warrant charged Mark - founder and president of The King's Men - with alleged violations of the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE) for an "assault on a patient escort" at an abortion clinic.
Below is the first page of the warrant issued for the FBI SWAT raid of Catholic pro-life speaker, author and sidewalk councilor, Mike Houck. pic.twitter.com/XeVLhbxAYI
- Patrick Delaney (@PatrickDDelaney) September 24, 2022
Ryan-Marie indicated that this charge stems from an incident that had already been dismissed by the Philadelphia District Court, but somehow - it is not known how - was then picked up by the Department of Justice.
"They had huge rifles and pointed them all over the house."
Speaking to LifeSite' s Patrick Delaney, Ryan-Marie recounted in detail that a SWAT team of approximately 30 FBI agents invaded his property with about 15 vehicles, "with their rifles in firing position" they "started banging on the door" and hysterically yelling for them to open up.
Her husband, shocked by the situation, tried to calm the agents by alerting them to the presence of minors in the house: "Please, I will open the door, but please, my children are here. I have seven babies in the house. The agents, ignoring them, "continued banging on the door and shouting".
Ryan-Marie states that minutes later, Mark opened the door, "they had huge rifles pointed at Mark, pointed at me, and pointed all over the house." When they came in, "the kids were all at the top of the stairs leading to the front door. All the children were screaming, it was all very frightening and traumatic."
The agents reaffirmed their decision to take Mark "whether they had a warrant or not". The wife objected, claiming that she was witnessing a kidnapping by security forces: "You cannot go to a person's house and kidnap them at gunpoint". Subsequently, the agents obtained the warrant, provided them with the front page and said they would take him to the "federal building in downtown Philadelphia."
Ryan-Marie lamented the situation her children had to go through, "I really don't know what will happen to my kids. When you see guns pointed at your mom and dad in your house, when you wake up in the morning, I don't know what they must think."
Following the raid on Houck's residence, local pro-life advocates held a fundraiser and prayers in support of the family.
Incident at the clinic
On several occasions, Mark took his oldest son - who was only 12 years old at the time - to meetings of his pro-life organization. His wife explained that for "weeks and weeks," a "pro-abortion protester" would talk to the boy on the street saying "rude... inappropriate and disgusting things" to him, such as, "Your daddy is a faggot" and other statements that she said were too vulgar for her to repeat.
Repeatedly, Mark warned the man that he was not allowed to talk to his son and to please stop. However, the subject "kept doing it" and entered his son's personal space. At that point, "Mark pushed him away and the guy fell backwards."
"He had no injuries or anything, but he tried to sue Mark," the case was dismissed earlier this summer, Ryan-Marie explained.