So Was Anyone Arrested in Washington, D.C. for Illegal Fireworks?
On District listservs, there have been plenty of fireworks over this weekend's illegal fireworks. (Per D.C. law, "Firecrackers or fireworks that explode, such as cherry bombs, salutes, Roman candles, floral shells, and artillery shells," are banned.) Frank Fioriti, a resident of Ward 1, for instance, complained that as the nation celebrated victory over the British, his block—Fairmont Street NW—turned terrifying. "After the fireworks on the Mall ended this neighborhood changed into the 'War Zone,'" he writes.
Fioriti says he was having a get-together in his yard , when "suddenly a 'boom' as loud as a cannon went off in front of the alley five doors down from us. It shook the windows and set off car alarms! People actually ducked and hit the dirt!" After the detonation, all hell broke loose: "[T]here were teenagers setting off fireworks, M80's and roman candles that they were aiming at the windows and roof tops of the houses and at the cars driving by. People walking down the sidewalks arriving from the fireworks displays and "get togethers" would walk just past Faircliff East and duck, cover their head with their hands and run down the block... drivers would floor their vehicles to get down the block from Faircliff East..."
Fioriti says though the cops eventually showed, they didn't do much to curb the explosions.
Which, really, wasn't much of a surprise; fireworks were going off all over the city Sunday (and, for that matter, all weekend). Did anyone actually get in trouble this year for possessing contraband that goes boom? Contacting MPD, City Desk learned police issued only 14 citations for illegal fireworks during the whole weekend. In addition, one person, Danielle Adams, was arrested on the 4th for possession of an illegal firework.
But Adams was also charged with possession of cocaine. Local prosecutors have decided not to pursue the possession of illegal firework charge.
So the moral of the story, for next year, appears to be: Blow up whatever you want. Just make sure you ditch your drugs first.