4th of July blast

by Patrick Rocchio

It sounded like something from a war movie….

Two men in their twenties left a family gathering in Comras Mall at Bronx Park East to detonate vast amounts of fireworks at around 11 p.m. on Saturday, July 4 near Lydig Avenue.

Marcy Gross, who is active in the Pelham Parkway South community, said she was walking her family members to their car when an impromptu fireworks extravaganza in front of 2100 to 2110 Bronx Park East caused mayhem.

“Two men started discharging huge amounts of fireworks in the gutter at about 11 p.m. and kept it up until about 1 a.m. the next morning,” Gross said. “Cars were swerving, almost hitting parked cars, to avoid being hit by the fireworks. I thought someone was going to get seriously hurt.”

Gross said she investigated the matter, finding the mother of the one of the men along with three young children about ages five and under sitting on the stoop of a building near her home, observing the fireworks.

Gross said the woman told her that she should “mind her own business” and that her son had “a right to use the fireworks.” They apparently were not from the neighborhood, but had a family member living in a nearby building.

The concerned activist said that she called 911 twice and got no response to the scene. Her calls to the 49th Precinct were answered, but she was told that a patrol car would be sent over based on priority.

“At one point, a truck drove by and started to hand off more fireworks to the two men,” Gross stated. “I was worried that some of the firecrackers might go under a car and cause an explosion.”

What was worse, according to Gross, was that the group of Fourth of July revelers did not clean up the debris left behind from their illegal midnight escapade.

“Not only did they disturb the entire neighborhood, they also didn’t clean up after themselves,” Gross said. “When someone is in our neighborhood and tries to diminish our quality of life, I get really concerned. We are not getting enough police protection in Pelham Parkway South. If we had smaller laws adhered to, we wouldn’t have larger ones being broken.”

According to reports, other parts of Pelham Parkway and Van Nest experienced similar disturbances.

“This year was the worst it has been with fireworks in the past couple years,” said Edith Blitzer, president of the Pelham Parkway South Neighborhood Association. “The police department was going back and forth all day.”

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