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Woman Charged with Hate Crime, Terroristic Threatening After Food Order Goes Bad


Delaware state police announced the arrest of a 21-year-old woman from Laurel, Delaware for a Hate Crime and Making Terroristic Threats. According to police, the defendant placed an order over the phone for food at a local ethnic restaurant. A 43-year-old family member went to pick up the order and, according to police, was disorderly with the staff concerning the food she received. Staff asked her several times to vacate the restaurant, but the family member refused to do so. Eventually, however, she did. A short time later, the defendant called the restaurant and began arguing about the order. During the call, the defendant was accused of making racial statements against the staff and threatening to shoot them and blow up the restaurant. The staff called police, reported the exchange, and the 21-year-old woman was arrested with her family member, taken into custody, and transported to Troop 5 where she was charged with Hate Crime (Felony) and 4 counts of Terroristic Threatening.

Hate Crimes in Delaware 

Delaware has a Hate Crime statute defined under Title 11 Section 1304 of the Delaware Code. According to the statute, a Hate Crime is not a separate category of offense, but rather an enhancement to an offense charged under a different statute. In this case, the defendant is facing four counts of Terroristic Threatening. Terroristic Threatening is typically charged as a misdemeanor but can be charged as a felony in certain circumstances. However, because the defendant acted with racial bias, the underlying offense will be reclassified as a felony.

Essentially, Hate Crimes are considered enhancements that make an underlying offense one-degree worse than it otherwise would be. In this case, the defendant was likely facing misdemeanor charges of Terroristic Threatening. The defendant likely didn’t have the intention or means to carry out the threat she made against the restaurant, but still committed a crime under Delaware law. Because, during the commission of the crime, the defendant was “motivated in whole or in part by a belief or perception regarding the race, religion, color, disability, sexual orientation, sex, age, gender identity, national origin, or ancestry of a person or group, regardless of whether the belief or perception is accurate.”

Terroristic Threatening charges in Delaware 

The crime of Terroristic Threatening is defined under Title 11 Section 621 of the Delaware Code. Under the law, a person is guilty of Terroristic Threatening when that person:

  • Threatens to commit any crime likely to result in death or in serious injury to person or property
  • The person makes false statements and:
    • Knows the statement is likely to cause the evacuation of a building, place of assembly, facility or public transportation
    • Knows the statement is likely to cause serious inconvenience
    • Recklessly disregards the risk of causing terror or serious inconvenience
  • The person commits an act with the intent of causing an individual to believe they have been exposed to a substance that can cause death or serious injury

The crime is typically charged as a misdemeanor and requires a fine between $1,000 and $2,500 and no fewer than 100 hours of community service.

Talk to a Wilmington, DE Criminal Defense Lawyer Today 

Michael W. Modica represents the interests of those charged with serious crimes in Wilmington, DE. Call our office today to schedule an appointment, and we can begin discussing defense strategy immediately.



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