Fireworks complaints spike in Wilmington

@VALUEZTV AM EDITION




Nick Perez


Fourth of July is more than a week away, but the skies over major cities are already lighting up each night with sporadic fireworks displays.


Wilmington is not immune to the random nighttime light shows and whistling and bangs coming in the wake of protests against racism and police brutality and months of isolation from the pandemic.


And like in other cities, complaints are soaring.


Wilmington Police received between 40 and 50 calls just in the past couple weeks, the department's spokesman David Karas told the News Journal/Delaware Online. Karas warns these calls could potentially include 

duplicates about the same incident.


Other Delaware cities are not seeing as many complaints.


Police in Philadelphia, Baltimore, Boston, New York City and Los Angeles are all taking steps to crack down on fireworks.


Earlier this week in Baltimore, a 68-year-old man was arrested for pointing a shotgun at people setting off fireworks in Northwest Baltimore, police said.


The reason for the spike is unclear.

On social media, some speculate the fireworks are efforts to undermine protesting against police violence sparked by the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.


Or they could just be because most public fireworks displays have been canceled because of COVID-19.

This year, only six fireworks permits for public displays were issued in The First State, Delaware State Fire Marshal's spokesman Michael Chionchio said.

Fourth of July fireworks are still a go in Dewey Beach, the only beach town that didn't cancel or postpone festivities due to the coronavirus.

Alex Pires, leader of the Highway One Group that owns local businesses like The Rusty Rudder and the Bottle & Cork, received a permit for a display to be hosted on Saturday, July 4, on a barge out on the Rehoboth Bay near downtown Dewey. In the First State, any fireworks that shoot into the air are illegal to have, sell or use. Delawareans who are over 18-years-old can only buy sparklers and ground-based novelty items and can use it on July Fourth, officials said. Still, Delaware residents just have a short drive into Pennsylvania or Maryland to purchase a wide assortment of pyrotechnics.


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