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Press Release

Middletown Man Pleads Guilty In Federal Court To Use Of Incendiary Device At Newark Planned Parenthood

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Delaware

WILMINGTON, Del. – A Middletown man pleaded guilty in federal court on February 11, 2021, to Intentional Damage to a Facility that Provides Reproductive Health Services and Possession of an Unregistered Destructive Device (Molotov Cocktail) under the National Firearms Act.  The Honorable Leonard P. Stark, Chief Judge, United States District Court for the District of Delaware, accepted the plea.

According to court documents, at approximately 2:16 a.m., on January 3, 2020, Samuel Gulick, 19, drove to the Planned Parenthood facility in Newark, Delaware.  Video surveillance captured Gulick standing on the front porch of the building and spray-painting the phrase “Deus Vult” in red letters. Gulick then stepped off the front porch, lit an object, and threw it at the front window of the Planned Parenthood facility. The object, a Molotov Cocktail, exploded and Gulick ran away. The fire burned for approximately one minute before self-extinguishing. The explosion damaged the front window and porch of the building. Law enforcement identified Gulick through video surveillance that captured the license plate of the car in which he fled and through an Instagram page registered to Gulick, containing the phrase “Deus Vult” and several anti-abortion posts.

Gulick pleaded guilty to Intentional Damage to a Facility that Provides Reproductive Health Services and Possession of an Unregistered Destructive Device under the National Firearms Act.  He faces a statutory maximum of 10 years in prison.  Sentencing is scheduled for June 2, 2021 at 2:00 p.m. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. Chief Judge Stark will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

In announcing the plea, U.S. Attorney David C. Weiss stated, “Mr. Gulick’s actions had potentially deadly consequences. I applaud the investigative efforts of local, state, and federal law enforcement who worked quickly to identify and bring Mr. Gulick to justice.”  

"While people have a First Amendment right to peacefully express their views, they do not have a right to vandalize clinics in the hopes of deterring women from receiving lawful services that those facilities provide," said Jennifer C.  Boone, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Baltimore Field Office. “The FBI and our law enforcement partners will hold those accountable for any threats of violence to healthcare facilities or their employees."

“ATF and our law enforcement partners will not tolerate violent attacks from those seeking to achieve personal political goals,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge Tim Jones. “We are proud of investigators’ efforts and dedication to identify the person responsible in this case and are grateful that no one was injured as a result of this defendant’s criminal actions.”

The FBI Baltimore Division's Wilmington Resident Agency investigated the matter with assistance from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives ("ATF:), Delaware State Police, Newark Police Department, Delaware State Fire Marshal's Office, New Castle County Police Department and University of Delaware Police.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Adrienne Dedjinou is prosecuting the case. 

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Delaware. Related court documents and information is located on the website of the District Court for the District of Delaware or on PACER by searching for Case No. 21-cr-01.

Updated February 15, 2021

Violent Crime