EXCLUSIVE: Mark Houck’s Household, Kids Relive Harrowing FBI Encounter in Day by day Sign Inform-All Documentary
KINTNERSVILLE, Pa. — Mark Houck’s kids have been startled awake by a loud banging on their door.
The older ladies seemed out the window, noticed flashing lights, and ran out to the touchdown to see what was occurring.
The little boys sat up of their beds, sleepy and startled.
Mark Houck Jr. rushed to the stair railing as questions raced by means of his thoughts. “Is somebody making an attempt to interrupt into the home? Is it somebody upset with my dad? Why would somebody be coming to our home to arrest my dad?”
Beneath them, down within the entryway, stood their father.
Their mom was on her method down the steps.
Crowded on the entrance porch and the entrance garden, have been about 15 FBI brokers, with weapons pointed at their dad and mom. It was round 7 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 23, 2022.
“They have been all the way in which lined down my driveway,” the kids’s father stated. “I had brokers on my porch with lengthy weapons.”
Eva, the oldest sister, shared that Mark Jr. tried to order his siblings to return to their rooms. Terrified on the spectacle earlier than her, she stated she simply couldn’t go away.
Little Teresa advised me that she needed to hurry at them and yell, “You may’t take my dad!” She didn’t say that, although she did push previous her older brother and run down the steps to her mom.
“I awoke and the ladies have been exterior the door crying,” remembered nine-year-old Joshua. “And I requested them what was improper they usually didn’t reply, and I seemed down the steps and I noticed weapons pointing at Mommy and Daddy.”
“Have been you scared?” I requested him.
“Yeah,” he responded, as his little brother Augustine nodded shyly. A number of relations shared that Augustine has had nightmares and has acted out behaviorally ever since that September morning.
“I used to be shaking,” stated Ryan-Marie, their mom. “I didn’t even know why they have been there to arrest him.”
Mark and Ryan-Marie imagine they have been focused by President Joe Biden’s DOJ in an effort to intimidate, silence, and scare the household for his or her pro-life work — praying exterior abortion clinics for the ladies headed inside to abort their unborn infants.
In early February, our Day by day Sign group went to the Houck’s Pennsylvania dwelling to listen to about that day when the DOJ arrested Mark, charging him with violating the Freedom of Entry to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act.
Mark pleaded not responsible to the federal fees. His authorized group argued that the DOJ was violating the Structure by participating in “viewpoint discrimination” and “selective prosecution,” violating the Spiritual Freedom Restoration Act and the First Modification’s safety for the free train of faith.
The FACE Act fees stemmed from a 2021 incident exterior a Philadelphia-based Deliberate Parenthood the place Mark pushed an abortion clinic volunteer who was repeatedly harassing his son (Mark Jr). Native authorities finally dismissed the matter — till the Biden DOJ re-upped it in response to the overturn of Roe v. Wade.
When Mark discovered himself confronted by FBI brokers, weapons pointed at him (and later at his spouse, as she made her method down the steps) his first thought was to guard his kids.
“Keep calm,” he stated he advised the brokers as he opened the door and confirmed his palms. “I’ve seven infants in right here. Please, keep calm.”
There have been fifteen marked and unmarked automobiles on his property, Mark stated.
When he requested what was occurring, the brokers reportedly advised him, “You realize why we’re right here.”
“I needed to collect my schools,” Mark stated. Then he responded.
“Oh, you’re right here as a result of I rescue infants.”
Nearly involuntarily, he added: “You wouldn’t be right here if the Trump administration was within the White Home.”
Mark says all of them “form of seemed down” at this comment, and nobody stated something.
Then Ryan-Marie arrived on the door, demanding, “Do you’ve got a warrant for his arrest?”
Mark stated that agent CJ Jackson (the lead agent on the case who was current on the trial) advised her, “We’re taking him with or with no warrant.” Ryan-Marie continued to press the brokers, as their kids started crying and screaming, about why they have been taking her husband.
Mark needed the brokers and their weapons out of his home and away from his kids as quick as doable. “What would you like?” He requested them. “What would you like me to do?”
Once they advised him they have been going to take him right down to the station, Mark says he requested if he might put extra clothes on (he was carrying a t-shirt and shorts on the chilly September morning), brush his enamel, or seize his rosary. Every of those requests was met with a “no,” although he was finally given his rosary.
One agent lastly despatched Ryan-Marie, who was nonetheless demanding a warrant, upstairs to get Mark a sweatshirt. When she returned, that they had cuffed him and put him in a car.
“Now I’m considering there was a chance that they only needed to get him away as a result of I used to be placing up a struggle,” she stated.
“I used to be scared for my kids who have been all screaming and crying, and that was very tough as a result of, my pure inclination could be simply to go to them,” she stated. “However on the identical time, I didn’t know what was taking place and I wanted to get some data. I simply knew sufficient that they wanted documentation.”
“You may’t simply take any person away, you understand?” she insisted. “We’re not dwelling in China. You may’t simply pull folks away from their dwelling for no motive.”
When Ryan-Marie got here downstairs, her husband was gone. Jackson, that lead agent, yelled to her from the driveway that he was getting her the warrant. There have been nonetheless officers with weapons on the porch, she stated, and her kids have been sill screaming and crying.
“I’m standing on the door and I had a baby underneath my arm and making an attempt to inform the opposite kids, please be quiet, as a result of I couldn’t hear.”
Jackson introduced her the warrant, a replica of which was obtained by The Day by day Sign, however Ryan-Marie says he ripped off simply the primary web page. The FBI agent reportedly advised Ryan-Marie that Mark would possible be organized that day.
Then the brokers left.
Ryan-Marie was shaking. However she needed to be courageous for the kids. They have been presupposed to go to their homeschool co-op that day, and, hoping to offer the kids a way of normalcy, Ryan-Marie packed them into the automobile and took them there.
Mark says he chatted in a pleasant vogue with the authorities who drove him to the station.
They later “tightly” shackled him at his waist and at his ankles, he stated, forcing him to “shimmy” his ft as he walked. Mark additionally stated they chained him to a desk for six hours in a small room, and at this level, he “totally entered into the peace of Christ.”
“I used to be on the foot of Calvary,” he stated. “I used to be there with Jesus. I used to be completely consoled.”
Mark’s descriptions of the ordeal typically dwelt evenly on how he was handled, typically specializing in his interactions with the authorities. However he strongly emphasised that when he was introduced right down to the U.S. Marshals, he was “handled like a canine” and “a convicted legal.”
“The U.S. Marshals deal with prisoner switch,” he defined. “They’re used to coping with felons and so I used to be handled as such. Very curt in demeanor and impolite in tone. There was no humanity. You have been handled lower than human with no dignity. Whereas I used to be solely there for about half-hour, I felt like I used to be already convicted of my alleged crime(s).”
By the point authorities had completed fingerprinting him and ending their enterprise, it as about eight or 10 hours later. He was reunited together with his household round three o’clock that day.
Mark was charged with violating two counts of the FACE Act. If convicted, he confronted 11 years in jail.
On January 6, 2022, the DOJ supplied his legal professionals a plea deal. Mark described the perspective as “we’ll make this a slap on the wrist” if he plead responsible —”We are able to spare you the trial and you’ll have your regular life again.”
His reply to such a suggestion was “at all times going to be no,” Mark stated. Ryan Marie backed him. He knew his spouse wouldn’t let him come dwelling if he took such a “cowardly” deal.
Mark was additionally conscious that the pro-life motion wanted case legislation on the subject shifting ahead with a purpose to defend the advocates praying exterior abortion clinics.
“I don’t need sidewalk counselors to should take care of this,” he stated.
Represented by The Thomas Extra Society, Mark went to trial. A jury declared him not responsible of the FACE Act fees in late January.
“We took on Goliath—the complete may of america authorities—and received,” his lawyer Peter Breen stated that day. “The jury noticed by means of and rejected the prosecution’s discriminatory case, which was harassment from Day One. This can be a win for Mark and your complete pro-life motion. The Biden Division of Justice’s intimidation in opposition to pro-life folks and folks of religion has been put as a replacement.”
However the ordeal has left a everlasting mark on the Houck household.
“The kids are the true victims,” Mark stated, “and after the arrest, they have been traumatized. They usually’re nonetheless traumatized ’until this present day.”
Every of the kids described to us simply how a lot the arrest, and their subsequent fears about their father, affected them.
“I give it some thought lots. Particularly after I sleep at night time,” Teresa advised me. “One thing I do is I retrace my steps, if we had a extremely good day, and it makes me really feel higher.”
Smushed into an arm chair with Eva and her child sister Imelda, Teresa additionally advised me she desires an apology from the federal government.
“For doing this to us,” she stated. “You shouldn’t simply come to somebody’s home like that and simply try this to folks. It’s not proper.”
The kids have been terrified of Fridays for a superb bit, the household advised me. That was the day of the week that their father was arrested. Now that it has been months because the arrest, and Mark has been cleared of the costs, they’re starting to really feel higher.
In our interviews, Mark Jr. dwelt on the struggling that his household has been put by means of in latest months. He believes that his father was focused by the Biden DOJ for his work defending the unborn.
“I believe my Dad was focused this fashion as a result of the Biden administration doesn’t like what my Dad does and is in opposition to every part my Dad does,” he stated.
“I’m happy with my dad,” he stated merely.
Ryan-Marie doesn’t know what the longer term holds for her kids or for her household. However she and her husband are each trying in the direction of the longer term with cheerful optimism.
“There’s nonetheless numerous therapeutic that should happen,” she stated of the kids, including with fun, “They do play ‘FBI open up’ much more than they used to.”
Final week, Mark attended the State of the Union because the visitor of Republican Pennsylvania Rep. Scott Perry. He additionally took his household again to the abortion clinic in Philadelphia the place this all started, and as a household, they thanked God for his or her deliverance and prayed for the unborn.
These seven kids watched as their father was torn from his dwelling, after which they watched him stroll free. Now they are going to proceed to struggle for all times with him.
“I hope they develop up and keep in mind how brave their father was,” Ryan-Marie shared emotionally. “I hope they keep in mind the religion that we had. That God didn’t abandon us and was with us each step.”
“I hope they only keep in mind the reality prevailed.”
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