SAGINAW TOWNSHIP, Michigan (LifeSiteNews) — A pro-life sidewalk counselor in Michigan said he’s scheduled for surgery on Friday after an abortionist ran over him with his vehicle last week. Witnesses told LifeSite the incident appeared premeditated.
Veteran pro-life sidewalk counselor Mark Zimmerman, 52, told LifeSiteNews he suffered a fractured tibia after local abortionist Theodore Roumell, 88, struck him with his car outside the Women’s Center of Saginaw on Friday, June 23.
In a Wednesday phone interview, Zimmerman told LifeSite he had been outside the abortion facility with about five other pro-life Christians to “share the Gospel and also offer physical help” to abortion-seeking women and plead with the abortionists not to kill babies.
At about 10:15 in the morning, Zimmerman began to walk across the driveway to the clinic just as Roumell started to pull in.
“I stopped right in the middle just to see where I was. And I looked to my right and there he was, pulling around, faster than normal,” he recounted. “He could definitely see me.”
According to Zimmerman, Roumell ran into him with his vehicle, driving over his knee before backing up.
“Immediately friends were dialing 911 and he was driving around me to park his car,” he said.
According to Zimmerman, police arrived about 15 minutes later and began engaging with Roumell, who reportedly told them that pro-lifers had run in front of his car on prior occasions, something Zimmerman said isn’t true.
A GiveSendGo fundraiser set up by Zimmerman’s friends to help raise money for medical and potential legal expenses states that witnesses saw the abortionist exit “his vehicle after the attack and [laugh] at Mark as he lay injured on the ground.” Zimmerman told LifeSite he doesn’t remember that, but he trusts the witness reports.
The pro-lifer told LifeSite he was put on a gurney shortly after the police arrived and transported to a hospital, where he received treatment and was discharged the same day. He said his tibia was fractured near the ankle and that he is currently getting around using crutches or a walker.
“I’ve been recovering at home with my wonderful wife,” he said, adding that he is “currently scheduled for outpatient surgery” on June 30.
Zimmerman told LifeSite he has filed a police report with the Saginaw Township Police Department with regard to the incident, and that he received a phone call Wednesday from a detective asking for the release of his medical records to facilitate the investigation.
Saginaw Township Detective Sergeant Chad Brooks confirmed in a Thursday email to LifeSiteNews that the incident is “under investigation” but said the department “does not have any information to release at this time.”
Two people who witnessed the incident confirmed Zimmerman’s recounting in comments to LifeSiteNews on Thursday.
“It was very, very intentional,” said pro-life sidewalk counselor Kelly Sims in a Thursday phone interview. “Angry intentional.”
Sims said Roumell came into the driveway at a high rate of speed and revved up when he saw Zimmerman in the road, deliberately hitting him. She said the impact left a tire print on Zimmerman’s leg, and that she and the other pro-life advocates were stunned by what they witnessed.
David Fink, 76, a 25-year veteran pro-life sidewalk counselor, also told LifeSite that Roumell accelerated into Zimmerman as he was crossing the street, striking him with the driver’s side fender of his vehicle.
“It wasn’t an accident. I think it was premeditated,” he said.
Fink, who described the pro-life fight as a “a spiritual battle,” said Zimmerman “flew backwards about two or three feet” and was “hollering loudly in pain” after being struck, but when Roumell parked and got out of his car, he claimed it was Zimmerman’s fault because he didn’t “get out of the way.”
He added that Roumell had threatened to hit the pro-life activists a week earlier, on June 16. He said that he and other pro-lifers mentioned the prior threat when they made statements to law enforcement at the scene.
Fink and Sims said that Roumell never offered to provide assistance to Zimmerman, despite being a medical professional.
LifeSite reached out to Women’s Center of Saginaw for comment but did not receive a response.
This isn’t the first time Roumell has faced serious allegations. In 2010, he was accused of malpractice for allegedly failing to extract the severed head of a preborn baby from his mother’s body during a botched abortion attempt. The elderly abortionist was also charged with assault in 2012 after he allegedly attempted to hit Lynn Mills, director of Pro-Life Michigan, with the door of his car.
In remarks to LifeSite on Wednesday, Zimmerman expressed determination to continue his work to defend the preborn despite his injury.
“My takeaway is to just keep on fighting the fight that God has called me to because I feel called [to be] a missionary to the preborn,” he said. “As a believer in Jesus Christ, I do forgive the abortionist for his actions. But I do hope that justice comes from this.”
Meanwhile, Zimmerman isn’t the only Michigan pro-lifer to be the victim of violence in the past year.
In September, 75-year-old Richard Harvey fired a .22 caliber gun at elderly pro-life volunteer Joan Jacobson as she engaged in door-to-door canvassing, hitting her in the back. Harvey has since been sentenced to 100 hours’ community service, a suspended jail sentence of two months, and a delayed sentence of one year on probation for the shooting.
Zimmerman’s GiveSendGo fundraiser can be accessed here.