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Press Release

Paw Paw Man Charged With Arson Of Planned Parenthood

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Michigan

          GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN — U.S. Attorney Mark Totten announced that his office filed a criminal complaint today charging Joshua Brereton with setting fire to a Planned Parenthood building in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Brereton, age 25, is a resident of Paw Paw, Michigan.

          On July 31, 2022, law enforcement received a report of a fire in progress at the Planned Parenthood in Kalamazoo. Subsequent investigation, including review of video surveillance from the fire scene, revealed that, at approximately 4:00 p.m., a man now identified as Brereton breached the fence surrounding the building, used a combustible fuel to ignite the exterior bushes of the building, lit a fireplace starter log, and then threw the burning log onto the roof of the building, ultimately starting two separate fires. After the fires started, Brereton fled the scene.

          The complaint alleges that, approximately an hour before setting the fire, Brereton purchased citronella torch fuel, a Duraflame starter log, and a utility lighter from a Walmart in Paw Paw, Michigan. He also purchased a baseball cap similar to the one depicted being worn by the suspect in Planned Parenthood’s surveillance footage.

          Prior to the fire, the complaint also alleges that Brereton posted a video to his YouTube channel discussing abortion and abortion policy and referring to abortion as “genocide.” In the video, Brereton also encouraged others to “step out of your comfort zone” and lend a hand in the fight.

          If convicted of the arson charge, Brereton faces up to 20 years in prison and a mandatory minimum sentence of five years.

          Brereton’s arrest followed a joint investigation by multiple law enforcement agencies, including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety (KDPS). The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Stephanie Carowan.

          The charges in a complaint are merely accusations, and a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law. A copy of the criminal complaint and the allegations are attached to this release.


Updated October 6, 2022

Violent Crime