SAGINAW, Mich. (Michigan News Source) – Charges have been dropped in a case involving 88-year-old Saginaw abortion doctor, Dr. Theodore Roumell, charged with felonious assault after being accused of running over an abortion protester.
Michigan News Source had brought you the story of the incident back in July describing Mark Zimmerman as a man who prays regularly outside of the Women’s Center of Flint & Saginaw in Saginaw Township. He had said about the incident, “I was standing in the driveway and the abortionist ran over my leg. And then he had to reverse to get off my leg, so he ran over me twice.”
Roumell had been arraigned on July 28th for felonious assault and was released on a $20K bond and ordered to have no contact with the protesters.
In the preliminary hearing for obstetrician and gynecologist Roumell on Friday, September 15th, the end result was that Saginaw County District Judge Elian Fichtner dismissed the case against the abortion doctor. If the case would have gone to trial and Roumell was found guilty, he could have faced up to four years in prison.
During the hearing, the judge heard testimony from 49-year-old Zimmerman, the man who alleged that Roumell drove over him in a driveway of a Saginaw Township clinic on June of this year, resulting in the man suffering a broken leg. The judge was also able to view the surveillance video of the incident which was reported on by ABC-12 WJRT Flint. The video shows Zimmerman standing in front of Roumell’s car as the doctor was driving into the clinic. However, the surveillance video also shows that even though Zimmerman was in front of the vehicle, Roumell’s vehicle continued to move forward.
Matt Norwood, the doctor’s attorney, claimed Zimmerman was actually breaking law by blocking access to the clinic. According to the National Abortion Federation, under the civil rights law, the federal Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act, it is a federal crime to use force, the threat of force or physical obstruction to prevent individuals from obtaining or providing reproductive health care services. The law also authorizes reproductive health care providers, the state attorney general, and/or the federal government to bring civil lawsuits to get injunctions against these activities or to get monetary damages.
Michigan News Source reached out to Norwood about the dismissal and he said, “Yes, it was dismissed by the Judge because she did not find that the prosecutor met their burden to show that there was probable cause. It was clear from the video that the complainant had purposely jumped in front of Dr. Roumell’s car as he pulled into the parking lot of the women’s clinic. This is in violation of federal law, state law, and local Saginaw Township Ordinance. If this was a dental office, this would have never been charged. But because this was an abortion clinic, politics have unfortunately been interjected. We are grateful that Judge Fichtner was able to see the case for what it is and dismiss it. She is a great judge and always does the right thing.”
Attorney Robert J. Dunn, PC, whose law firm represented Zimmerman, was not in court at the time, but told us, “There was plenty of evidence available to meet the low standard of proof needed to bind the abortion doctor for trial. The decision can be appealed or even re-charged with more evidence that is available. The charge itself was even lower than it should have been.”