Stink bomb causes evacuation of anti-abortion event in Rochester

A 19-year-old man is being held on terroristic threats, assault and public nuisance charges.

Attendees at a anti-abortion event in Rochester were forced to evacuated after a teenage man set off what police believe was a stink bomb at the back of the auditorium.

The 40 Days For Life and Students for Life Kick Off event was being held at the Rochester Community and Technical College on Wednesday evening when the disturbance occurred.

The Rochester fire and police departments and building security were called to the college's Hill Theatre are a report of a suspicious contained with liquid inside, which was left in the theater.

The Rochester Post Bulletin reports more than 50 people evacuated the theater, some of whom were examined for possible medical reactions to the fumes.

The suspect, a 19-year-old man, had been detained by campus security by the time police arrived, with police believing he'd made a stink bomb in a water bottle, which cause headaches and chest irritation.

Olmsted County jail records show he's being held on probable cause felony terroristic threats, misdemeanor fifth-degree assault, disorderly conduct and public nuisance. 

Students for Life of America described the incident as a "bomb threat and chemical attack" in a press release issued on Thursday morning, saying that members of the audience were "disturbed by the erratic behavior" of the suspect.

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It claims the suspect is a "pro-choicer," but as of now there is no confirmation that this is the case.

"The crowd of more than 85 people quickly filed out of the room to the parking lot outside," said Students for Life of America Northern Regional Coordinator Noah Maldonado.

"Once outside, we prayed briefly, and I was able to actually finish my speech. Other students who had been in different parts of the college also gathered around to join our spontaneous event. Thankfully everyone is safe and the man responsible is in police custody."

The anti-abortion group says that its student supporters face "incredible pressure as they advocate for life" and free speech rights.

The event was not affiliated with the Rochester Community and Technical College, with the space rented out for the evening by a local church, which invited the pro-life speakers.

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