A man jailed in Davenport is accused of crashing his car into a clinic early Monday morning. Davenport Chief Fire Marshall Mike Hayman says firefighters were called a little before five A.M. to the campus of the Genesis medical center. It came in as a fire alarm and the first companies to arrive found heavy smoke coming from the building. Once they put out the fire, they found a car in the lobby of the building.
The compact car with Michigan license plates had been driven through a parking lot, over a grassy bank, up a paved driveway and through the locked double entrance doors. He says a man went up to the fire brigade’s incident commander and told him he’d done it, on purpose. The man’s been identified as David McMenemy and they think he drove from Michigan.
He’s in custody and currently charged with second-degree arson, though Hayman says more charges are likely. The car was not on fire when it ran into the building, and Hayman says it’s not the kind of car-building collision police see when a vehicle misses a corner or a chase goes out of control.
The fire started after the car was inside the building. They’re still collecting details, but the investigator says “He was definitely trying to destroy this building.” The clinic offers medical care to women and children but does not perform abortions. The driver suffered singed hair but no serious injuries.
Hayman says while he doesn’t have damage figures yet “it’ll be extensive,” and he figures the clinic will probably be closed for a while. Hayman couldn’t say if the man had done anything like this before, but says he apparently did not know anyone who worked or was a patient at the Edgerton Women’s Health Center. Several investigators are talking with people and studying the case.