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Press Release

Convicted Felon Who Repeatedly Attacked Planned Parenthood Clinic with BB Guns and Possessed Multiple Firearms Agrees to Plead Guilty

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Central District of California

          LOS ANGELES – In court documents filed this morning, an Inland Empire man admitted firing BB guns at the Planned Parenthood facility in Pasadena nearly a dozen times and agreed to plead guilty to violating the federal Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act.

          Richard Royden Chamberlin, 54, who currently resides in Ontario, but previously maintained a residence in Altadena, also admitted that he was carrying a loaded .22-caliber handgun during one of the attacks and agreed to plead guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, according to a plea agreement filed today in United States District Court.

          Chamberlin acknowledged driving past the Planned Parenthood facility in Pasadena and fired his BB gun at the clinic on at least 11 occasions between June 2020 and May 2021. In his plea agreement, Chamberlin admitted that he intentionally conducted the attacks to intimidate and interfere with the clinic, its doctors, staff and patients specifically because the clinic was providing reproductive health services, including services related to the termination of pregnancies. 

          Beginning on June 27, 2020, Chamberlin’s attacks involved him firing BB pellets through the window of his car. The attacks caused physical damage to the clinic, including shattered windows, and also served to intimidate the staff of the clinic, Chamberlin admitted in the plea agreement.

          On March 29, 2021, an employee of the clinic heard an object hit her office window, which caused her to fear for her physical safety and interfered with the performance of her job duties. The next day, at 8:30 a.m. while the clinic was open and receiving patients, defendant again drove by and fired his BB gun at the front entrance.  During this attack, a patient’s support companion was seated on the front porch and was nearly hit when the BB gun pellets peppered the banners directly in front of where she was seated. No one was injured in any of the shootings. 

          On May 7, 2021, the Pasadena Police Department stopped Chamberlin while he was driving away from the clinic following yet another BB gun attack. At this time, Chamberlin possessed eight BB guns, including BB guns designed to look like assault rifles. On the front passenger seat of his vehicle, police found a backpack containing a .22-caliber pistol, which was loaded with 10 rounds of ammunition. In his plea agreement, Chamberlin admitted that he possessed this firearm and ammunition after being previously convicted in Arizona in 2012 of a felony offense of attempted transportation of a narcotic drug for sale.

          Following his May 7, 2021, arrest, Chamberlin attempted to dispose of his remaining firearms by selling four firearms to a local consignment store and transferring ownership of eight additional firearms to a neighbor. During a subsequent search of his home, authorities recovered thousands of rounds of ammunition, gun powder, a dozen additional BB guns, a black cylinder resembling a suppressor, a Polymer 80 gun-making kit, various gun parts and multiple documents identifying and referring to Planned Parenthood.

          Chamberlin agreed to plead guilty to one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, a felony offense that carries a statutory maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison, and one count of forcible interference with the obtaining and provision of reproductive health services, a misdemeanor offense punishable by up to one year in prison. A date for Chamberlin to appear in court to formally enter the guilty pleas has not yet been set.

          The FBI and the Pasadena Police Department conducted the investigation in this matter.

          Assistant United States Attorneys Frances S. Lewis of the Public Corruption and Civil Rights Section is prosecuting this case.

Contact

Thom Mrozek
Director of Media Relations
thom.mrozek@usdoj.gov
(213) 894-6947

Updated November 29, 2022

Topics
Violent Crime
Civil Rights
Release Number: 22-252