Crime and Public Safety | Florida man helped U.S. Marine, accomplice in OC Planned Parenthood bombing, prosecutors say

Crime and Public Safety | Florida man helped U.S. Marine, accomplice in OC Planned Parenthood bombing, prosecutors say


A Florida man has been accused of allegedly assisting a U.S. Marine and his accomplice in planning and executing a firebombing attack on a Planned Parenthood clinic in Costa Mesa, according to federal prosecutors. The arrest of Xavier Batten on Friday has linked him to the clinic attack that was previously attributed to Chance Brannon, an active duty Marine from San Juan Capistrano, and Tibet Ergul of Irvine. All three individuals have been charged with conspiracy and malicious destruction of property by fire or explosion. Brannon and Ergul face additional charges of possessing an unregistered destructive device and intentionally damaging a reproductive health clinic.

Planned Parenthood Attack

The attack on the Planned Parenthood clinic took place on March 12, 2022. Surveillance video captured two masked figures, later identified as Brannon and Ergul, approaching the clinic during the early morning hours. They ignited a Molotov cocktail and threw it against the front door of the clinic before fleeing the scene. The impact caused a fire to erupt on the wall next to the door, spreading across the ceiling. Firefighters arrived promptly and extinguished the blaze. Fortunately, no one was injured in the incident, but the clinic had to cancel around 30 appointments the following day due to the damage.

Investigation and Arrest

Following the attack, the FBI announced a $25,000 reward for information leading to the identification and apprehension of the perpetrators. A tipster came forward, providing the FBI with a text message from Ergul allegedly admitting his involvement in the incident. The tipster also provided a photo of the suspected Molotov cocktail used in the attack. The information led investigators to Brannon and Ergul. Further investigation, including the search of digital devices, connected Xavier Batten to the crime. Batten is believed to have advised Brannon and Ergul on how to construct the Molotov cocktail and encouraged them to carry out the attack.

Motive and Connection

During a news conference, U.S. Attorney Martin Estrada stated that the attack was not random, but rather a planned effort targeting the clinic due to the reproductive health services it provided. Estrada mentioned that the three men were friends or acquaintances who had met through various means, including online discussions. Although the investigation is ongoing, there are strong indications of animus towards women as a motive for the attack.

Legal Proceedings

Both Brannon and Ergul pleaded not guilty to the charges brought against them. Their attorneys declined to comment on the allegations. The indictment, recently unsealed, reveals that Brannon and Ergul specifically targeted the Planned Parenthood clinic and acquired the necessary materials to build a destructive device. Batten’s involvement in advising them on constructing the Molotov cocktail is also detailed in the indictment. During searches of their residences, authorities discovered suspected illegal weaponry, including a short-barreled rifle and silencers at Brannon’s residence. In Ergul’s garage, a second Molotov cocktail was found. Additionally, neo-Nazi paraphernalia believed to belong to Brannon was discovered during a search.


The arrest of Xavier Batten in connection with the Planned Parenthood clinic attack highlights the alleged involvement of a Florida man in assisting a U.S. Marine and his accomplice in carrying out the firebombing. The investigation continues as authorities work to uncover further details and determine the full extent of the motives behind the attack. Brannon and Ergul, who were previously identified as the primary suspects, have pleaded not guilty to the charges against them. The case serves as a reminder of the importance of maintaining public safety and protecting reproductive health services.