As a group of us were assembled to pray during the 40 Days for Life vigil taking place outside the Albany Medical Surgical Center abortion facility in Chicago, we were taken by surprise when Albany manager Diana Maracick angrily walked right through the middle of our prayer group on her way into the clinic.
Shortly afterward, four police cars arrived. Apparently, Diana had called the police because one of our sidewalk counselors, 64-year old Anna Marie Mesia, had been standing in the public alley adjacent to the Albany facility, talking to a client in the parking lot.
By this time the police arrived, Anna Marie had left the alley, walked past the prayer group, and was standing near the other entrance to Albany’s parking lot along Elston Avenue.
The police approached her, told her she was under arrest, ordered her to place her hands behind her back, and handcuffed her. In obvious discomfort, she was then placed in a squad car.
Her crime? Supposedly, Anna Marie had violated Chicago’s “bubble zone” ordinance.
Those of us who tried to intervene with the police were totally rebuffed. I immediately called our attorneys at the Thomas More Society Pro-Life Law Center. One of them was willing to talk to the officers on Anna Marie’s behalf.
I then went to the officers and told them I had my attorney on the line, and I was told that if my attorney wanted to bail her out or dispute the law, he would have to go the 16th District Police Station.
The police then took Anna Marie 16th District station. 40 Days for Life co-coordinator Rich Wenzl and I then drove to the station and asked when Anna Marie would be discharged, and we were told it would not be released until the afternoon.
After she was released just a few hours ago, Rich and a group of other pro-lifers brought Anna Marie to our office, and she joined us in our St. Joseph Chapel to pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.
Now today, after her second bogus arrest in less than three months, the case for a malicious prosecution lawsuit against Albany just got a lot stronger.