Police Begin Cracking Down on Illegal Fireworks in Eastie

Fireworks being set off at public parks throughout East Boston and especially Constitution Beach have been disturbing the peace and quiet most nights of the week.

Residents have been complaining since the weather started to warm up that fireworks are being set off all hours of the night during the week. The loud booms from these fireworks wake children, scare pets and are generally annoying when it is 2 a.m. at night.

Despite being illegal in Massachusetts billboards like this one on Bennington Street in Eastie advertise fireworks for sale across the border in New Hampshire. Boston Police have begun cracking down on illegal fireworks in Eastie.

While Boston Police usually turn a blind eye to illegal fireworks one day out of the year during 4th of July weekend, police have begun cracking down and reminding residents that fireworks remain illegal in Massachusetts.

Last Monday, officers from District A-7 in Eastie responded to LoPresti Park to disperse a large group lighting illegal fireworks.

When police arrived their vehicle was struck by two fireworks which then exploded. Then when the officers exited their vehicle to approach the group, the officers were nearly struck by an additional firework that was thrown by a male suspect, later identified as Felix Martinez, 19, of Saugus.

The suspect fled the scene on foot before the officers could place him in custody. The officers then dispersed the remaining parties on scene and seized the unused fireworks as evidence.

The next day police again responded to LoPresti Park at 12:15 a.m. after numerous complaints of fireworks being set off.

When police arrived Martinez was observed throwing a lit firework towards the responding officers as they walked across the basketball courts in the park.

Martinez once again fled the area on foot but was located and placed in custody without incident a short time later in Maverick Square. While performing a pat frisk, officers recovered eight-inch ‘Jumbo Silver Salute’ firecrackers from the suspect’s back pants pocket.

Martinez was arraigned at East Boston District Court on charges of Assault and Battery of a Police Officer by Means of a Dangerous Weapon (2 Counts) and Possession of Fireworks.

“The Boston Police Department would like to remind the public that illegal fireworks pose significant dangers to the safety of our residents and their property and do not belong in our communities,” said Boston Police in a statement last week. “Massachusetts General Law, Chapter 148, Section 39 clearly states that it is illegal for private citizens to use, possess or sell fireworks in Massachusetts. It is also illegal to purchase them legally elsewhere and then transport them into the state. If you hear or see fireworks being displayed in your neighborhood, please call 911 immediately for a police response. If you wish to report the illegal purchasing or selling of fireworks, you can do so anonymously by contacting the CrimeStoppers Tip Line at 1 (800) 494-TIPS or by texting the word ‘TIP’ to CRIME (27463).”

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