By Karen Myers
Wichita, KS – When pro-life mom Jennifer McCoy drove by South Wind Women’s Center, an abortion facility in Wichita, Kansas, on July 28, at 9:45 p.m., she thought it was strange that the main gate was open and several employees cars were still present in the parking lot, including the blue pickup truck belonging to security guard Carl Swinney.
Jennifer wondered if a woman had suffered a botched abortion, requiring medical attention. The clinic normally never is open so late.
Jennifer parked, called Mark Gietzen, the local leader of Kansas Coalition for Life who coordinates prayer and sidewalk advocacy on-site, and reported the unusual occurrence to him. Something strange was going on for sure.
While on the phone, Jennifer noticed that an unknown male exited the building and got in his car to leave. Was he a client’s friend? A new employee? Medical personnel? Jennifer tried to take a picture as he exited the parking lot, suspecting that a girl was in trouble.
But – whatever was happening inside – moments later, Jennifer herself became a girl in trouble outside.
Carl Swinney, the guard armed with a loaded .45, appeared around the corner, telling Jennifer that she did not belong there at that hour of the night. His voice got louder and louder, and he came closer and closer, until he was “yelling at Jennifer from a distance so close,” Gietzen said, “it was as if he were the one on the phone with me.”
Gietzen heard the verbal argument between Jennifer and Swinney, and then grew alarmed when Jennifer began screaming, “Let go of me Carl! …Let go!”
At that point, worried for Jennifer’s physical safety, Gietzen hung up the phone, called 911, and rushed to the clinic to help.
Upon arrival, Gietzen saw two police cars also arriving on scene, and the out-of-control Swinney had left the driveway and sidewalk area where he had attacked Jennifer. Jennifer suggested that the police look at the clinic’s security camera footage, because it would clearly show Swinney assaulting her. But Swinney told the police that supposedly the security cameras were not working. (This raises at least three questions: 1) Do we seriously expect to believe that a late-term abortion clinic would risk having non-working security cameras? And 2) How did Swinney know that Jennifer had arrived at the sidewalk by the front gate which is not visible from his post at the clinic entrance on the back side of the building, unless he had seen her on camera? 3) Why was Swinney so anxious to keep the police from checking out the cameras?)
Finally, police agreed to take a report. The police gave Jennifer a case number – 16C052494 – for reference.
After leaving the clinic that night, Jennifer did not go to the emergency room, because she needed to console her young children who were present in the car and had become terrified at what Swinney did to their mother. At bedtime, one child asked if Swinney knew where they lived, scared that he would come and hurt Jennifer at their home. But in the morning, she went to the E.R. in a lot of pain, and four days later her arm was still in a sling and she had to take pain medication the doctor had prescribed.
When Wichita city officials got around to handling the incident, their first plan was to charge both Swinney and Jennifer with disorderly conduct. Both Gietzen and Jennifer objected, because Jennifer had no fault whatsoever and the aggression was entirely upon the part of Swinney, who not only attacked Jennifer but also was armed when he did so.
After all, just six weeks ago, police had no problems whatsoever arresting a blind elderly pro-lifer and hauling him off to jail when he inadvertently bumped another South Wind security guard during a tussle over a sign.
“This clinic poses a danger not only to babies in the womb, but also to women inside and outside the clinic, and even to residents…This is not the only time I have seen something awful like that,” said Gietzen. “I have seen Carl with his loaded .45 with his finger on the trigger chasing another pro-life man. I have seen him running around the trees across the street, obviously under the influence of alcohol, running figure eights and stumbling on the tree roots, with his finger on the trigger and the other man’s life at risk. The only thing that brought that horrendous thing to an end is that Carl’s parents came to pick him up!”
After back-and-forth communications with the Wichita City Council, police, and other city leaders, the City Prosecutor’s office finally did the right thing, which they should have done originally, and charged Swinney with battery.
This is not the first time Swinney has faced criminal charges. He had a previous record of DUIs, and will go to trial again on September 22nd for three separate counts:
1. INATTENTIVE DRIVING
2. DUI – INCAPABLE OF SAFELY OPERATING A VEHICLE
3. DUI – .08 OR GREATER
Apparently Swinney doesn’t respect life at any age or location – inside the womb, outside the womb, inside the clinic, outside the clinic, inside his truck, or outside his truck.
“Swinney’s conduct is frightening, especially in light of his obvious problems with alcohol,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. “South Wind’s owner, Julie Burkhart ought to be ashamed for employing such a troubled man. In doing so she is not only placing the public in danger, but her patients as well. Because of his dangerous alcoholic behavior and his attack on a woman, Carl Swinney has proved he isn’t qualified to carry a gun. He should be stripped of his security guard licensure and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”
“This also begs the question, what happened that was so wrong and so bad inside the clinic? Did a patient die that night?” Newman asked. “A comprehensive investigation of South Wind Women’s Center should be initiated and all crimes, violations, or malpractice prosecuted fully.”
Swinney’s history of drunkenness, DUIs, trigger-happy tendencies, and physical aggression does not bode well for Wichita residents either, especially the families who live along the street near South Wind.
“I am continuing to try to have South Wind zoned out of a residential area because they have a security guard who has a long history of heavy drinking and carries a loaded .45. This is wrong on all counts!” said Gietzen. “It’s irresponsible. We should not allow it.
“Why would the City Council knowingly let a horrible dangerous situation continue? I do not want to take Carl’s gun away. I understand why they need to be armed. But South Wind does not need to be in this city. They need to close it or move it clear out of town where if a stray bullet flies, it does not go in to one of the homes nearby.”
After all, every day that Carl Swinney and South Wind aren’t held accountable to the law, lives are in jeopardy.