AUSTIN -- Police have arrested a woman after witnesses say she threw a Molotov cocktail-type device at people holding a prayer vigil at a South Austin Planned Parenthood on Monday, according to an arrest affidavit.
Police said 52-year-old Melanie Maria Toney threw the object out the passenger side window of her car where two anti-abortion protesters standing outside of the clinic at 201 East Ben White Boulevard around 6:30 p.m. Monday.
One of the protesters, Ruth Allwein, said she was praying in the grassy area as a volunteer with Texas Alliance for Life when she saw Toney throw the bottle.
"It looked like some sort of bottle, and it had an ignited wick in it, so my first instinct was backing away," said Allwein.
Allwein said she stomped out the fire and pulled out the wick to make sure the fire did not make contact with the contents of the bottle. The affidavit states the flaming item was a "Gum Out" fuel additive bottle with a burned piece of paper towel that had been rolled into a wick and lit on fire, a Molotov cocktail-type device.
Toney admitted to throwing a bottle out the window with some paper in it and said it "might" have been smoldering when she threw it.
Toney is charged with aggravated assault.
Planned Parenthood has several safety measures in place to protect patients and staff including high fences, security guards and surveillance cameras.
"We are jut very sad this happened and we are thankful no one was hurt," said Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas President and CEO, Ken Lambrecht. "The health and safety of anyone coming in or near Planned Parenthood Health Center is of the utmost importance to us."