HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Residents in Henrico are complaining of illegal fireworks being set off over the weekend. In most areas, you can get a Class 1 misdemeanor for setting them off — but people are asking if that’s actually being enforced.
Each locality determines its own firework rules. In Henrico, anyone found with fireworks, even sparklers, can be charged with a class 1 misdemeanor. Chesterfield County prohibits anyone who isn’t a “licensed and permitted fireworks professional” from using, possessing or selling fireworks. Violators can be charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor, which equates to up to a year in jail and a $2,500 fine.
Video from a frustrated Chesterfield viewer shows fireworks lighting up his neighborhood over the weekend. The evidence was left on his street. In Los Angeles, fireworks illuminated the sky despite officials warning of fire danger.
Residents in Henrico are also complaining of sleepless nights. “We haven’t had any sleep for three nights,” said a woman who asked not to be identified. She said illegal gunfire and fireworks have been non-stop in the private corn field across from her home, near Williamsburg and Charles City roads, since Thursday.
“Every time they have a holiday it’s the same thing. It’s like a party around here and a gang war in the field,” she said. The woman told 8News police were called every night this weekend.
“They come. They come and ride up and down the road,” she said. However, she doesn’t think anyone’s ever been held accountable because the action isn’t stopping. “They don’t care about the police. They’re probably laughing at them because they can’t catch them.”
The woman said something needs to be done before the next holiday rolls around. “It’s a battlefield like every night.”
8News asked Henrico police what they’re doing, if anything, about her situation. On Tuesday, a Henrico police spokesperson said “I have reached out to our Community Services Section which will have an Officer following up with the complainant if identified on the concerns in that area.”
We also asked local officials how many firework calls they got and if anyone was charged. Henrico police said that data was not available duing the holiday weekend.
On Tuesday afternoon, the spokesperson said Henrico police had 230 firework related calls for service over the three-day weekend, and two charges for fireworks.