Irvine Man Gets 6 Years in Prison for Firebombing Clinic, Plotting Electrical Substation Attack

Irvine Man Gets 6 Years in Prison for Firebombing Clinic, Plotting Electrical Substation Attack

A Planned Parenthood clinic in Inglewood, Calif., on May 16, 2023. (Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images)

Jill McLaughlin

Jill McLaughlin

5/31/2024

Updated: 5/31/2024

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An Irvine, California, man was sentenced to six years in federal prison May 30 for firebombing a Planned Parenthood clinic and planning an attack on an electrical substation.
Tibet Ergul, 22, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Cormac Carney, who also ordered him to pay $1,000 in restitution, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles.
Mr. Ergul pleaded guilty Feb. 29 for the 2022 firebombing of the Costa Mesa clinic and conspiracy to damage the energy facility in Orange County.
Two other men—Chance Brannon, 24, of San Juan Capistrano, and Xavier Batten, 21, of Brooksville, Florida—also pleaded guilty in November 2023 and January 2024, respectively, to charges related to the firebombing.
Mr. Brannon was sentenced to nine years in federal prison and Mr. Batten was given three and a half years.
Federal prosecutors claim Mr. Ergul and Mr. Brannon created a Molotov cocktail on March 12, 2022 in Mr. Ergul’s garage. They say the two ignited and threw the device at the clinic’s entrance, starting a fire, the next day.
Due to the fire and other damage, the clinic was forced to temporarily close and reschedule about 30 patient appointments, according to federal prosecutors.
The two were also planning to bomb another clinic after the 2022 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court that overturned Roe v. Wade, ending the constitutional right to abortion.
Prosecutors additionally claim Mr. Ergul also conspired with others, including Mr. Brannon, to damage a Southern California Edison electrical substation in an effort to debilitate Orange County’s power grid. They reportedly consulted with an associate about surveillance, drone operations, and firearms about their planned attack.
Mr. Ergul pleaded guilty to one felony count of conspiracy to damage an energy facility and one misdemeanor count of intentional damage to a reproductive health services facility, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
“This defendant’s hatred toward others led him to plotting and carrying out violence,” said U.S. Attorney Martin Estrada in a statement Thursday.
According to prosecutors, Mr. Ergul and Mr. Brannon also reportedly discussed and researched how to attack the Dodger Stadium parking lot or the stadium’s electrical room on a night celebrating LGBTQ Pride. The plan reportedly included using a device that could be detonated remotely.
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Jill McLaughlin

Jill McLaughlin

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Jill McLaughlin is an award-winning journalist covering politics, environment, and statewide issues. She has been a reporter and editor for newspapers in Oregon, Nevada, and New Mexico. Jill was born in Yosemite National Park and enjoys the majestic outdoors, traveling, golfing, and hiking.

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