Charges: Anti-abortion 'stink bomb' protester also planned to egg stage

The 19-year-old has been charged with several offenses.
Screen Shot 2019-09-20 at 3.41.56 PM

The man accused of stink bombing an anti-abortion event in Rochester had also planned to throw eggs at the stage during the Wednesday event.

Charges have been filed against Samuel Vanderwiel, 19, of Rochester, including for felony terroristic threats and 5th degree assault.

An auditorium at Rochester Community Technical College had been hired out for a pro-life event, but attendees had to be evacuated as a noxious smell became apparent.

Some of those in attendance reported suffering headaches and chest pains after they left the theater, with police arriving to find Vanderwiel in the custody of a security guard. having been identified by someone who worked at the college.

Vanderwiel told police he had mixed ammonia and phosphorous match heads in a water bottle so that it would smell like rotten eggs. 

He told police he had also planned to throw eggs at the event, though he ultimately didn't do this.

Sign up: Subscribe to our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

He told police he entered the theater, which had been rented out by a local church to host the 40 Days For Life and Students for Life Kick Off event, opened the bottle and spilled a little of the mixture, before setting the bottle down and leaving.

"Vanderwiel was trying to organize others to protest with him, but was unable to, so he made the 'stink bomb' to protest the event by himself," the criminal complaint said.

Two of the witnesses who spoke to police said they felt "fearful and jittery" when they heard about a "suspicious bottle" in the building.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2020-12-02 at 9.55.05 PM

Small plane lands on northbound I-35W in Twin Cities

A large police presence is at the scene.


Judge orders Minnesota gym that defied shutdown to close

Attorney General Keith Ellison sued the gym after it remained open.

montana cutbank

Charges: Man shot victim 'without provocation' using sawed-off shotgun

The incident happened on Nov. 24 in Ten Lake Township, located in Beltrami County.

Governor Tim Walz

Watch live: Walz, first responders address Minnesotans

Some departments have been forced to shift staffing or suspend service due to COVID-19.

covid-19, coronavirus

CDC says COVID-19 quarantine period can be cut to 10 or 7 days

You can come out of a 7-day quarantine following exposure provided you've had a negative test.

maple grove fire

1 person found dead inside Maple Grove business that burned down

A person had been unaccounted following the fire that destroyed Hanson Implement and Storage Tuesday night.

One-dollar bill, cash, money

Appeals court rules MN high school students can get unemployment benefits

They've been denied the benefits, and some were even asked to pay them back.

covid-19, coronavirus

Dec. 2 COVID-19 update: 77 more deaths in Minnesota

The death toll is closing in on 3,700 in Minnesota.

City Pages

Fan creates City Pages archive, Star Tribune tells him to remove it

After word spread that the defunct newspaper's website would go down, a fan created his own copy. Then he got a cease and desist letter.

Adam Thielen

Vikings activate Adam Thielen off COVID-19/reserve list

The star receiver missed last week's victory over Carolina.

Screen Shot 2020-12-02 at 10.27.14 AM

Naked man shot by St. Paul cop is charged for sexual assault of ex-girlfriend

The 31-year-old suspect remains at Regions Hospital after being shot.


Screen Shot 2019-09-19 at 11.23.50 AM

Stink bomb causes evacuation of anti-abortion event in Rochester

A 19-year-old man is being held on terroristic threats, assault and public nuisance charges.


Charges: Wearing 'Joker mask,' woman used hatchet to smash up car

The 19-year-old has been charged with criminal damage.

Screen Shot 2020-04-21 at 8.00.27 AM

Man charged with gruesome murder of missing teen

The 19-year-old went missing in early April, and her former roommate has been charged with her murder.

All-clear given in Eyota after bomb threat

Residents had been told to stay away.

Screen Shot 2020-01-14 at 1.11.28 PM

Charges: Teen fatally shot man during botched drug deal

The 18-year-old is facing 2nd-degree murder charges for the shooting in Rochester.

Nathan James Homme

Charges: Wisconsin man planned to kidnap Shoreview woman

The 39-year-old man has been charged with two felonies.

Screen Shot 2020-05-31 at 5.48.13 PM

Trucker who drove toward protesters on I-35W bridge charged with felony

The 35-year-old from Otsego is also facing a gross misdemeanor charge.