“Fireworks Wars” in West Davis Park spark reaction from neighbors, police


Neighbors in the West Davis Park area are fed up with what they’re calling a “fireworks war” happening in their streets every Fourth of July. 

“There were probably 40 to 50 people running through the streets throwing mortars, large fireworks at one another, says Stan Hathorn, who has lived in the area for four years. 

He captured video of the fireworks being shot into yards and down the street, leaving many neighbors asking, what’s next?

“Something’s gotta be done in order to make the law more enforceable or more painful when it is enforced so that people will change their behavior,” says Hathorn. 

Chief Karl Turner with the Johnson City Police Department says this is a difficult law to enforce.

“Just like any other crime we have to have some physical evidence or we have to see it ourselves,” says Chief Turner.  

He says West Davis Park is a problem area on the Fourth of July holiday, and has been for years. People in the streets even shot fireworks at police cars on July 4. 

“At one time we probably had 29 cars in that neighborhood trying to catch the people who not only shot the fireworks at us but also at the other residents there,” says the Chief. 

But some West Davis Park neighbors see it differently, saying there’s no harm in shooting fireworks. 

“If that’s the least thing that they are doing, it could be a lot worse. They could be out here shooting guns, shooting each other up with needles, they’re not. They’re shooting firweorks,” says Kayla Buchanan, a West Davis Park neighbor.

“When they’re used properly that’s great, but these were not being used properly they were intentionally trying to cause harm,” says Hathorn. 

Another Johnson City resident says a firework launched toward his home on East Millard Street destroyed his truck and even damaged his home. 

“Well I was asleep and I got a bang at the door saying your truck is on fire, your house is on fire get out of the house. I’ve had this truck for years and they’ve torched it,” says Richard Young. 

For police, the next step in all of this is finding the people who broke the law.

“I think it’s how you locate people in that neighborhood and how you respond to calls there that we’re going to try and do different next year,” says Chief Turner. 

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