Special Reports

KCK clinic says vandalism may be linked to Tiller suspect

The suspect in Sunday's slaying of Wichita abortion doctor George Tiller matches the description of a man who vandalized a Kansas City, Kan., clinic twice in the past month -- including the day before Tiller was killed, the clinic's office manager said today.

Scott Roeder, who is being held in Wichita in connection with Tiller's death, is scheduled to make his first court appearance in Wichita this afternoon.

Jeffrey Pederson, office manager of the Central Family Medicine clinic, 720 Central Ave., said a man glued the locks shut on the clinic's doors on May 23 and again on Saturday morning.

Pederson said he filed a police report after both incidents and contacted the FBI, giving them the suspect's license plate number after Saturday's incident.

On Sunday morning, Pederson said, he got a call from Wichita about Tiller's murder. At 1 p.m., he said he got another call from his Wichita contact who gave him the suspect's license plate.

"I was just sick," he said. "That was the plate I gave the FBI Saturday. I called the FBI back and said, 'It's the same car. It's the same guy.'"

The FBI was tight-lipped about the incident.

"When we are notified when vandalism occurs at a clinic, we look into the matter, but we're not going to comment on anything regarding that incident," said spokeswoman Bridget Patton.

Kansas City, Kan., police spokesman Michael Golden confirmed that the clinic filed a vandalism report.

"There was a report made for criminal damage, but there's no suspect information listed on the report," Golden said.

Pederson said a man the clinic staff knew as Scott and matching Roeder's description had been protesting at the clinic for years.

"He glued us twice with super glue in 2000," he said. "The pictures I had back then were fuzzy, and the FBI said it wasn't sufficient to prosecute. I said, 'Here's his license plate.' And the FBI says, 'OK, we'll go talk to him.' After that, he disappeared for six years."

Pederson said the man showed up at the clinic again around 2006.

"He came every other month, kind of infrequently," he said. "He wouldn't really hold signs, but he would gab with the regular group."

The man "super-glued us again on Memorial Day weekend," Pederson said. "We were closed that weekend, so he had free reign."

Pederson said he filed a report with Kansas City, Kan., police on May 25 and notified the FBI.

"I told the FBI that it's the same guy as before," Pederson said. "The agent was going to go talk to him, but he had moved since 2000."

Pederson said that last Thursday, he was able to locate the suspect on the surveillance video, "but the pictures were still fuzzy."

He said he called the FBI again and gave them a copy of the video. On Friday, he said, he upgraded his surveillance cameras to a higher resolution.

"And at 5:50 a.m. Saturday, he attempted to glue the back door, but one of my staff was already here," Pederson said. "She chased after him, and he called her a baby killer twice.

"She got a good look and managed to catch his license plate. She called me at home and I called the FBI with the license plate number. I told them I had more video, and these pictures are a lot clearer, and we set up a time to have them interview my staff."

Pederson said the incidents were disturbing, but he didn't expect authorities to make them a priority at the time he reported them.

"Criminal damage is just a misdemeanor," he said.

Officials at Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri said today that they hadn't had any reports of Roeder being at their clinic.

"He had not come to the attention of us," said Peter Brownlie, president of Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri. "At least, there hasn't been anything that we can verify."