Fireworks violators not cited by police in Orleans, Jefferson

Print
Email
|

wwltv.com

Posted on January 9, 2013 at 7:15 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jan 9 at 8:11 PM

Paul Murphy / Eyewitness News
Email: pmurphy@wwltv.com | Twitter: @pmurphywwl

NEW ORLEANS -- Fireworks lit up the night sky over the New Orleans metro during the New Year Eve's celebration in an aerial display that sounded like World War III.

The barrage lasted into the wee hours of the morning in many neighborhoods.

"From 11:45 to at least two in the morning, fireworks were going off all around us in this whole neighborhood as if we were in Illuminations at EPCOT," said Old Metairie neighbor Ed Cox.

He said all of the fireworks freaked out his dog.

"Our poor dog who was sedated with two sedatives, but still his heart was racing so badly he felt like he was going to have a heart attack."

New Orleans neighbors David Ferris and Larisa Diephuis have similar complaints.

"I felt like I had my own private displays of fireworks going on from my window, I could probably see three separate fireworks displays that of course were all unregulated," said Ferris.

"It kept my kids up, both my kids up several times throughout the night and that was a little frustrating," said Diephuis.

Despite the obvious violations of the fireworks ban in Orleans and Jefferson parishes, authorities tell Eyewitness News there were no citations issued or people arrested for shooting fireworks in their neighborhoods.

"I could say I'm disappointed that there's no citations, but at the same time, it is a celebration," said Cox. "I understand people wanting to celebrate with fireworks."

"I know that it's illegal, my understanding it that it's illegal, so it's surprising to me that things weren't done to stop the noise," said Diephuis.

"I generally believe in sort of libertarian values, but I think there's some safety issues in our city and the fireworks are over the line," said Ferris. "There has long been a culture in this city that this is allowed. I think that you need to change that sort of in a campaign before you just start arresting people for it."

The NOPD did make five gun arrests associated with the new year's celebration.

In St. Charles Parish where the parish council fought off a recent attempt to legalize fireworks, deputies handed out 113 citations and confiscated $10,000 worth fireworks.

"It is disheartening that so many people chose to participate in this illegal activity especially after the extensive publicity reminding residents that the sale, possession and use of fireworks was illegal in St. Charles Parish," said Sheriff Greg Champagne. "The sheriff's office does not make the laws, but it is our responsibility to enforce them."

"While there are certainly those who are in disagreement with the current ordinance, it has existed on the books since 1976," said St. Charles Parish President V.J. St. Pierre. "It is the responsibility of the sheriff’s office to enforce not only this but all other ordinances approved by the parish council. The council in 2012 reaffirmed the ban when a measure to overturn it failed by a 5-4 vote."

Violators of the fireworks ban in St. Charles face up to a $100 fine, up to 30 days in jail or both.

 

Print
Email
|