Dover man convicted for pointing gun at protest

Delaware State News
Posted 9/30/21

WILMINGTON — A 61-year-old Dover man was convicted Thursday for two violent felonies regarding a counterprotest last year, the Delaware Department of Justice announced.

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Dover man convicted for pointing gun at protest

Posted

WILMINGTON — A 61-year-old Dover man was convicted Thursday for two violent felonies regarding a counterprotest last year, the Delaware Department of Justice announced.

Michael Hastings was indicted in October 2020, after pointing a handgun toward others during a counterprotest in Wilmington, DOJ said. He was convicted of first-degree reckless endangering and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.

DOJ officials said Mr. Hastings participated in the protest Sept. 24, 2020. The incident occurred outside a campaign rally for Republican U.S. Senate candidate Lauren Witzke.

At the time the charges were filed, DOJ said Mr. Hastings faced a minimum mandatory prison sentence. The department said Thursday that a sentencing date will be determined.

Delaware Attorney General Kathy Jennings released a statement following the conviction.

“Pointing a loaded gun at anyone is always dangerous, full stop,” she said. “This was a heinous, reckless, and dangerous act that could have easily ended in tragedy. The defendant’s actions seriously endangered his fellow citizens who were exercising their right to free speech, and he now faces the consequences. I’m especially grateful to our Division of Civil Rights & Public Trust, and specifically to Deputy Attorneys General Nicole Mozee and David Skoranski, for their work on this case. DCRPT has again demonstrated that it doesn’t matter your personal politics — if you threaten harm to our fellow Delawareans, you will face prosecution.”