WILMINGTON — A 36-year-old Camden-Wyoming man was sentenced to five years in federal prison Tuesday for a 2020 incident involving an ignited bottle that was thrown onto an apartment building rooftop, authorities said.
Benjamin Glanden was earlier convicted on a malicious use of a fire to damage interstate commerce charge connected to the incident at Liberty Court Apartments at 1289 Walker Road in Dover. He was arrested on June 29, 2020, the U.S. Attorney’s office said in a news release Wednesday. He pleaded guilty on March 22, 2021.
According to court documents, Glanden, 35 years old at the time, was seen on surveillance video lighting a bottle containing gasoline and a paper towel, then tossing onto the top of an apartment building. Six adults and 10 children were inside at the time.
Dover police and Dover City Fire Marshal’s Office officers were initially called to the scene for an individual reportedly setting fires, the news release said.
Police said at the time that arriving officers extinguished a bottle on fire.
Chief U.S. District Judge Colm F. Connolly issued the sentence.
According to U.S. Attorney David C. Weiss “(The) defendant’s grossly irresponsible behavior jeopardized the safety of innocent apartment dwellers. But for timely reporting to law enforcement, defendant’s fire setting could quickly have led to substantial property damage with potentially deadly consequences.
“My office will continue to vigorously prosecute those, like the defendant, whose actions directly threaten public safety.”
Said ATF Baltimore Special Agent in Charge Timothy Jones, “We are grateful for the public’s quick reporting and fast response by our Dover law enforcement and fire service partners that prevented that tragedy from happening. By combining ATF arson investigation resources with the knowledge and experience of our partners, we were able to ensure this defendant was brought to justice.
“ATF is unwavering in its commitment to remove violent offenders like this from Delaware communities.”
Dover police and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives investigated the case, which was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Maureen McCartney.