Updated: Grand jury charges Dover man accused of pointing gun at counter protesters during Witzke rally

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A New Castle County grand jury charged a Dover man with felonies for brandishing and pointing a handgun toward others while he participated in a counter-protest on Sept. 24.

While not mentioned in a release, the event in question is linked to a campaign rally outside Wilmington by U.S. Senate candidate Lauren Witzke. Witzke was quick to condemn the action.

Michael Hastings, 60, is charged withReckless Endangering First Degree and Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony and facesa minimum mandatory prison sentence. The Division of Civil Rights & Public Trust will lead his prosecution.

Delaware State Police reported that Hastings turned himself into Troop 6, Prices Corner at around 6:30 p.m. on Monday. Detectives requested Hastings bring the firearm in question to Troop 6. Hastings complied.The firearm in question was a Glock 17 handgun.

Hastings was arraigned before the Justice of the Peace Court #11 and released on his own recognizance, with court bail conditions stating he shall relinquish all firearms and/or deadly weapons and may not acquire, nor be in possession of any firearms or deadly weapons.

“The right to free expression should be free of danger,” said Attorney General Kathy Jennings. “This is not responsible gun ownership. A firearm is a deadly weapon, period, and there is never a good reason to point it toward anyone except in self-defense. Mr. Hastings’ actions endangered others and we will prosecute him fully.”

The investigation was launched by the Division of Civil Rights and Public Trust.

Earlier, State Police were called to another Witzke rally after eggs were tossed from a vehicle. Republican US Senate nominee Witzke holds mini-rallies in visible locations, sometimes in underused parking lots.

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