BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Boston Police Department has seized another load of fireworks that were being illegally set off in a residential area over the weekend.
According to BPD, at around 9:30 p.m. on Friday June 19th, officers received calls about fireworks being set off in the area of Dacia Street and Dove Street in Dorchester.
Upon arrival, the officers observed the fireworks being lit in the middle of the street, and they confiscated a U-Haul van "containing a large quantity of fireworks."
BPD says Friday night's seizure is part of a recent string of incidents where fireworks are being lit illegally across the city.
On Wednesday June 17th, there were "numerous community complaints in the area of Mascoma Street and Lawrence Avenue in Roxbury." Responding officers saw "a large quantity of fireworks in plain sight inside the opened trunk of a parked motor vehicle." Officers seized the fireworks without incident.
On Monday, June 8th, officers in Boston responded to calls about a large group lighting illegal fireworks in LoPresti Park in East Boston at around 9:40 p.m. When police arrived, their vehicle was "struck by two fireworks, which then exploded."
Upon exiting the vehicle to approach the group, BPD said the officers were "nearly struck by an additional firework which was thrown by a male suspect, later identified as Felix Martinez, 19, of Saugus." Another suspect fled on foot.
Shortly after midnight on Tuesday June 9th, officers again responded to LoPresi Park after numerous complaints of more fireworks being set off. On arrival, the same suspect from Monday evening was observed "throwing a lit firework towards the responding officers as they walked across the basketball courts in the park."
According to BPD, the suspect again fled on foot, but was found and placed in custody without incident a short time later in Maverick Square. While performing a pat frisk, officers recovered 8 ‘Jumbo Silver Salute’ firecrackers from the suspect’s back pants pocket.
At around 6:40 p.m. on Saturday, June 6th, BPD officers responded to calls about fireworks in the area of 68 Astoria Street in Mattapan. Officers seizes a large quantity of fireworks from two cars, a handgun, and an extended magazine from the waistline area of one suspect's pants.
On Friday June 5th at around 9 p.m., officers confiscated a large amount of fireworks in the area of Gavin Way in South Boston.
"All parties on scene claimed that they were unaware that fireworks were not only illegal in the City of Boston but across the entirety of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as well," said BPD in a statement. "The officers confiscated all the remaining fireworks while taking the opportunity to educate and inform everyone gathered on scene that, in addition to the mandatory seizure, they could also face monetary fines for their actions."
According to WBZ-TV, fireworks calls to BPD were up 2300 percent last month over the year before. In May 2019, Boston police received 27 calls for illegal fireworks. This May, they received 656 calls.
Last week, Mayor Walsh said Boston residents are reporting hearing the fireworks go off before the sun goes down.
"It’s worse than usual," said Walsh. "It started early and it never seemed to stop. This is a serious issue, people are frightened, people are losing sleep.”
(Photo: Boston Police Department)