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updated: 8/30/2013 10:27 AM

Aurora police release video in abortion protest assault case

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Aurora police have released a surveillance video that left authorities split over whether to charge a Naperville man with swerving his vehicle at an abortion protester.

The 32-second clip was shot in February outside Planned Parenthood, 3051 New York Street, Aurora. The Daily Herald obtained a copy under the Freedom of Information Act.

On the footage, a 15-year-old demonstrator from Arlington Heights' Christian Liberty Academy is seen standing in the foreground along a frontage road near clinic property and wearing an orange vest.

About 13 seconds into the video, she steps into the roadway as a maroon Yukon GMC passes. The teen covers her mouth and points at the vehicle roughly two seconds later, then follows it out of view.

DuPage County prosecutors charged the 25-year-old driver, Michael Fabian, with aggravated assault in March. Police later closed their investigation as "unfounded," saying the surveillance video showed Fabian driving in a "straight, nonaggressive manner."

Fabian, who was charged with "nearly striking" the girl, pleaded guilty last week to improper lane use, a petty offense. Prosecutors dropped the more serious charge.

Fabian was "adamant" he never swerved at the girl but acknowledged making a wide turn as he left clinic property, his defense attorney, Richard Kayne, said last week.

"Nobody was in jeopardy at any time," Kayne said.

Six witnesses backed up the girl's account to police, but State's Attorney Bob Berlin said the video angle made the case difficult to prove.

"I think you could see a swerve, but it was difficult to see," he said. "We watched it many, many times."

In May, a school official who was with the girl and several other Christian Liberty Academy students as they handed out leaflets at Planned Parenthood said he was "beyond sure" Fabian swerved.

Fabian agreed to serve three months of court supervision and pay $180 in court costs. He has declined to comment.

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