Middletown man charged after explosive device damages Planned Parenthood facility

WILMINGTON — An 18-year-old Middletown man was charged federally after a Planned Parenthood facility in Newark was spray-painted and damaged by an explosive device on Jan. 3, officials said earlier this week.

In court documents, Samuel James Gulick was alleged to have spray-painted the phrase “Deus Vult” in red letters on the building and then thrown an explosive object through a front window. A fire burned for about a minute afterward before it died out, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Deus vult is a Latin expression meaning “God wills it.”

The front window and porch were damaged, according to David C. Weiss, U.S. Attorney for the District of Delaware when announcing the arrest in a news release.

Authorities investigated video surveillance and social media postings before making an arrest, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. The posts allegedly contained the phrase “Deus Vult” and several anti-abortion references, authorities said.

Mr. Gulick was arrested without incident on Jan. 4.

Charges include:

• Maliciously damaging a building used in interstate commerce through the use of fire or destructive device.

• Intentionally damaging a facility that provides reproductive health services.

• Possession of an unregistered destructive device under the National Firearms Act.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said the most serious offense — maliciously damaging — carries a minimum 5 years to maximum 20 prison sentence and $250,000 fine.

“Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties,” according to the news release.