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Dover man indicted on charges for pulling a gun out at a political rally

The street full of cars. One large man in a white shirt is pointing a handgun at the person shooting the video
Kristina Kelly / Facebook
The man in the video was identified at 60-year-old Michael Hastings of Dover

A Dover man faces charges for pointing a gun at protestors during a Lauren Witzke rally last month.


A New Castle County grand jury indicted 60-year-old Michael Hastings on two felony counts - First Degree Reckless Endangerment and Possession of a Firearm during a felony.


Credit Delaware State Police
Delaware State Police
Michael Hastings



Hastings faces a minimum mandatory prison sentence if convicted.


The man turned himself into Delaware State Police custody Monday night and relinquished the firearm involved in the incident - a Glock 17 handgun.


He was arraigned before the justice of the peace court and was released on the condition that he give up all firearms and deadly weapons in his possesion.


The Sept. 24th  incident was streamed on Facebook Live by one of the victims, who was protesting Witzke’s rally. Witzke and Delaware GOP party chair Jane Brady both denounced the act quickly after news reports came out. 


Delaware Attorney General Kathy Jennings said in a statement “This is not responsible gun ownership… Mr. Hastings’ actions endangered others and we will prosecute him fully.”


Witzke is an outspoken supporter of gun rights, and has also recently thanked the Proud Boys - identified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center - for providing security at the same rally.


Witzke’s support for the Proud Boys came a day after the first presidential debate, where Donald Trump failed to denounce white supremacist groups and said  “Proud Boys, stand back and stand by.”


This article was updated to include information about Hastings' arrest and arraignment

Roman Battaglia grew up in Portland, Ore, and now reports for Delaware Public Media as a Report For America corps member. He focuses on politics, elections and legislation activity at the local, county and state levels.
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