Houck said that when he was arrested, his children were screaming, he had on flip-flops, a pair of shorts, a T-shirt, and was not wearing underwear.
Houck said that the agents did not let him put on underwear, brush his teeth, or put deodorant on. They did allow him to take his rosary, he said.
“It was reckless that day,” Houck said. “I’m so surprised that someone wasn’t shot or I wasn’t shot.”
“[If] my kids picked up one of our airsoft guns that they play around with they easily could have been shot,” he said, adding that this was “extremely reckless behavior on the part of the federal government.”
In September 2022, the FBI issued a statement disputing details in the reports of Houck’s arrest.
“There are inaccurate claims being made regarding the arrest of Mark Houck,” the FBI’s Philadelphia office said in a statement.
“No SWAT Team or SWAT operators were involved. FBI agents knocked on Mr. Houck’s front door, identified themselves as FBI agents, and asked him to exit the residence. He did so and was taken into custody without incident pursuant to an indictment,” the statement continued.
At the time, an FBI spokesman declined to answer CNA’s questions about the number of law enforcement personnel at the scene and whether any drew their weapons and pointed them at the family.
“Extensive planning takes place prior to the service of any federal warrant. The FBI then employs the personnel and tactics deemed necessary to effect a safe arrest or search,” the statement said.
“While it’s the FBI’s standard practice not to discuss such operational specifics, we can say that the number of personnel and vehicles widely reported as being on scene Friday is an overstatement, and the tactics used by FBI personnel were professional, in line with standard practices, and intended to ensure the safety of everyone present in and outside the residence,” the statement concluded.
Close to the cross of Christ
Houck said that he was shackled at the waist and feet once he arrived at “the federal building.”
Houck said that his detainment was “the most intimate prayer experience” of his life, adding that he was “at the foot of Calvary” and was at peace. He said he felt so close to the cross of Christ that he could “take the splinters off that cross.”
Houck also said that the FBI “manipulated” him and his wife into giving them information that he didn’t want to give them.
He said that he was then in the custody of the U.S. Marshals and said that he was still chained in “a pure act of humiliation,” adding that they treated him like he was “a convicted felon” and “like no other person has ever treated” him.
Houck told Bannon that prior to the trial, the government offered him a plea deal: If he would plead guilty, he would walk away with virtually no punishment but “a slap on the wrist.”
He said his wife told him: “You’re not allowed home if you take that plea.”
“I was not going to take that plea. But I just wanted your audience to know that that’s how highly the government thought of this case,” he said. “And I knew the importance of allowing this case to set precedent for the pro-life movement, to have case law on the books.”