If you're one of the seemingly few New Yorkers still in town for the July 4th holiday, here's your reminder that fireworks—including sparklers!—are still illegal in the city, and the NYPD has little tolerance for scofflaws.
"You will be arrested," a police spokesperson told Gothamist on Monday. "If you are in possession of fireworks valued at over $50, it will be presumed that you're intending to sell the fireworks and that's a misdemeanor." Those in possession of less than $50 of contraband may still be arrested on a violation, according to the NYPD.
As part of the holiday's crackdown, some Staten Island precincts are even going so far as offering a $1000 reward for tips leading to the conviction of anyone illegally possessing fireworks. "If you use fireworks, you or someone else can get seriously hurt," one precinct tweeted. "If you have fireworks, we can arrest you, you car can be confiscated or your business can be closed."
In less persuasive social media content, the NYPD's official Twitter account recently shared a video of a watermelon getting blown up on a beach, for some reason accompanied by a Van Halen-esque guitar riff. "If it goes off in your hand, one of this size, you'll lose probably up to the elbow," says NYPD Bomb Squad Lt. Mark Torre.
Fireworks are dangerous and illegal. Stay safe and out of trouble, leave it to the professionals. pic.twitter.com/SD3ai8jFIG
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) July 3, 2017
Neither the NYPD or FDNY could confirm how many fireworks-related arrests or injuries have occurred this weekend, but we'll update once that information becomes available. A spokesperson for the FDNY did say that 80 individual cases of fireworks, valued at $7,000, had been seized between mid-June and Friday. Six arrests were made in those seizures.
In June, a fireworks fight between two men led to a five-alarm blaze in the Bronx that engulfed seven buildings and required 200 firefighters to put down. The men now face charges of fourth-degree arson, reckless endangerment, criminal mischief, and illegal possession of fireworks.
For more information on how to watch the city's (legal) Fourth of July spectacle—which Macy's promises will be "the largest display in more than a decade"— here are details.