2022 Madison firebombing; Wisconsin man arrested in Boston

A Wisconsin man was arrested in Boston on Tuesday, March 28 on a charge related to the May 2022 firebombing of the offices of a group that opposes abortion.

According to court documents, Hridindu Sankar Roychowdhury, 29, of Madison, is charged with one count of attempting to cause damage by means of fire or an explosive. 

Arson at Wisconsin Family Action, Madison (WMTV)

According to the complaint, on Mother’s Day, Sunday morning, May 8, 2022, law enforcement responded to an active fire at Wisconsin Family Action, a Madison group that opposes abortion. Once inside the building, police spotted a mason jar under a broken window. A news release says the jar was broken, and the lid and screw top were burned black. The police also saw a purple disposable lighter near the mason jar. On the opposite wall from the window, the police saw another mason jar with the lid on and a blue cloth tucked into the top; the cloth was singed. The jar was about half full of a clear fluid that smelled like an accelerant. 

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Officials say outside the building, someone spray-painted on one wall, "If abortions aren’t safe then you aren’t either" and, on another wall, a large "A" with a circle around it and the number "1312." During the investigation, law enforcement collected DNA from the scene of the attack.

Arson at Wisconsin Family Action, Madison (WMTV)

In March 2023, law enforcement identified Roychowdhury as a possible suspect. Police officers observed Roychowdhury dispose of food in a public trash can; the officers recovered the leftover food and related items, and law enforcement collected DNA from the food. On March 17, 2023, law enforcement advised that a forensic biologist examined the DNA evidence recovered from the attack scene and compared it to the DNA collected from the food contents. The forensic biologist found the two samples matched and likely were the same individual.

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A news release says earlier this month, Roychowdhury traveled from Madison to Portland, Maine, and he purchased a one-way ticket from Boston to Guatemala City, departing Tuesday morning. Law enforcement arrested Roychowdhury at Boston Logan International Airport.

Roychowdhury is scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court in Boston Tuesday. A date for his appearance in federal court in Madison has not been set.

If convicted, Roychowdhury faces a mandatory minimum penalty of five years and a maximum of 20 years in prison.