City officials urge safe celebrating this New Year
MIAMI (WSVN) -- Going out to the many nightclubs and restaurants around South Florida offering special events Monday night is great, but police and city officials say one thing you should definitely not do, is fire into the sky.
Celebratory gunfire is nothing to celebrate. City of Miami and Miami-Dade council officials reminded residents that what some may consider a tradition, has very serious consequences.
Miami-Dade Police Acting Director J.D. Patterson said, "It's a crime and like I said it's illegal. If a police officer is called and actually finds you discharging it, you can actually get charged with a crime. If someone gets victimized with one of these discharged weapons, it becomes a felony."
Miami-Dade County Commissioner Audrey Edmonson adds, "When a bullet goes up, this is Earth, we have gravity, that bullet will come back down."
And the consequences for victims of stray bullets are permanent. Joshua Arroliga was shot and killed as the clock struck midnight on Jan 1, 2008. Zenon Fernandez fired multiple shots into an abandoned sofa behind which the boy was playing hide-and-seek. In 2011 Fernandez was sentenced to 10 years for the boys death.
This past fourth of July, Anaid Romero was watching the fireworks show outside Biltmore Hotel. She was hit by a stray bullet, but she lived to tell her story. "During the finale I had felt something on my arm and something all over my leg was wet. So, I got up and told my parents that there was something burning my arm. You think about what could have happened. If it was a few inches to the right or if I would've stood up that moment and it would've hit my back, " said Romero.
Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado says if you want to celebrate the New Year with a bang go see the fireworks over at Bayfront Park.
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