NORMAN, OK, December 20, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A shocking new video shows a muscular young man punching a pro-life protester in the face before chasing, pushing, and threatening to shoot a group of pro-life activists standing outside an Oklahoma abortion facility on Tuesday.
The incident is detailed in two videos, which were uploaded to YouTube on December 17.
Toby Harmon says he and his friend, Jeremy Brown, approached a young couple just leaving Dr. Larry Burns' Abortion Surgery Center in Norman, Oklahoma, and asked if they could help. “She replied something like, 'You can't help us. There's nothing you can do to help us,'” Harmon says.
Then, the says, he young man removed his jacket and came toward them in a menacing fashion.
The second video shows a a young, bearded man shove Brown before punching him in the face.
“There's forgiveness in Christ,” Brown replied, literally turning the other cheek.
Video footage shows the young man follow the 36-year-old Harmon at this point, repeatedly grabbing his video camera, as well as spitting on their signs. As the camera is blocked during a struggle, Harmon comments that a noise in the video is the sound of the man spitting on him, as well.
Harmon says the man threw his first chest-mounted camera to the ground and destroyed it, and the original video file of the incident was corrupted beyond repair. His goal, Harmon said, was to destroy the evidence of the altercation. However, Harmon had a second video camera, which he used to capture the video posted to YouTube.
As Harmon struggled with the man, Brown called the police. The Norman Police Department's call log shows the alleged “assault and battery,” as well as “assault and vandalism” took place at 9:13 a.m.
“Right now, he is following us, and we are literally fleeing from him,” Jeremy tells an operator, saying the man ha followed them 50 yards away from the center at that point.
After walking off, the man says, “You’re lucky I didn’t have my pistol on me, too. I would have shot y'all now.”
“Did you just threaten my life?” Harmon asks in disbelief.
“Yeah, I did,” the man responds.
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“We turned the other cheek,” Harmon says on a follow-up video recounting his side of the day's events. “We didn't strike back. We didn't hit back.”
They did, however, file charges against the man. A court date is said to be pending.
Harmon says instead, he prayed for the couple and asks viewers to do the same.
“Obviously there's a lot of hurt and pain there, and they do need the healing of Jesus Christ,” he says in the second video.
The couple may find they need more than emotional counseling. AHA has produced a document about Dr. Burns' legal history, having faced five lawsuits – including a plaintiff who said in 1997 that the doctor's negligence and malpractice “required emergency intervention and surgery to preserve her life.” All cases were dismissed.
Abortion is at the root of the violence he experienced outside the clinic, Harmon says. The man in the video “did all of these things because of the overwhelming guilt of what he had just done,” Toby says. “That is where that kind of violence and anger comes from.”
Anecdotal evidence may support his claim. Last April, a man with two hunting knives slashed a banner in front of pro-life protesters who were reading the Bible in front of the Jackson Women's Health Organization, the last abortion facility in Mississippi. Rev. Rusty Lee Thomas, assistant director of Operation Save America, told LifeSiteNews.com that in his experience most of the hostility or violence they encounter around the nation comes from those who have been involved in an abortion. Instead of asking God to“forgive them and heal them, they act in anger, and they lash out,” he said, “or in this case, slashed out.”
Harmon says he looks forward to meeting the man he says attacked him again – to show him kindness and the gentle nature of Christian love. He says, “I just pray that I would have an opportunity somehow to let him know that there's no hard feelings and that I can share the love of Christ with him.”