In footage released Friday afternoon, it appears an abortion doctor pointed a firearm toward a pro-life demonstrator from inside his vehicle as he left a clinic in Phoenix earlier this month.
Apologia Church, the group behind the pro-life demonstration at the Acacia Women’s Center on Thursday, Oct. 10, posted the video to YouTube, urging viewers to contact the Phoenix Police Department to demand action be taken against Dr. Ronald Yunis, the physician who allegedly pulled a gun on protester Elvis Kesto.
The altercation took place around 11 a.m. as Kesto was packing up to leave the clinic. Yunis, who only works at the abortion facility a couple hours a week, was also leaving, driving away in his red, four-door Tesla.
As he was exiting the center’s parking lot, Kesto walked over to hand a ministry packet to Yunis, who was inside his vehicle. When he approached the Tesla, it appears the doctor pulled out a firearm and pointed it directly at Kesto, who was unarmed at the time of the incident.
Apologia then presented the footage of what transpired between the two men to the Phoenix Police Department, but no immediate arrests were made. It wasn’t until this Thursday, when the group of pro-life protesters returned to the center, that police took more visible action. Kesto, concerned over what might happen if he confronted Yunis, requested a law enforcement presence at the medical facility.
At around 10 a.m. Thursday, police officers entered the Acacia Women’s Center, where they briefly questioned Yunis, though they ultimately opted not to make an arrest. The issue at the time, according to footage of Officer Bobby Madeira speaking with Kesto, was there was no “independent witness” to corroborate whether Yunis was, in fact, brandishing a gun.
Jeff Durbin, pastor of Apologia, argued in the video published online that, had a pro-life demonstrator pointed a weapon toward an abortion provider, it would only be “maybe a couple of hours before action was taken to put one of us in handcuffs, rightly so.”
While Apologia has expressed concern over what they have deemed as inaction by law enforcement officials, Detective Luis Samudio said in an email to Faithwire on Friday that the pro-life group’s framing of the issue is “not accurate.”
“This incident is currently being investigated,” he said. “Phoenix Police did initiate an investigation, detectives are currently investigating the incident. Because an arrest was not made on the day of the incident, it doesn’t mean an investigation was not being conducted.”
On Friday afternoon, Sgt. Sean Burton informed Apologia a detective had been assigned to look into the claim against Yunis.