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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Taboada de Jesús calls for charges against individuals injured while using illegal pyrotechnics

Lt. José Taboada de Jesús, president of the Puerto Rico Police Members Association

By The Star Staff

Individuals who used illegal pyrotechnic material on New Year’s Eve and were injured should be prosecuted since they had been warned in advance that the use of explosive materials is illegal, a police organization leader said Tuesday.

“Those individuals who are in hospitals receiving treatment either private or with payments from the government health card as a result of an explosion from a prohibited pyrotechnic item must be prosecuted for the illegal use of explosive material,” said Lt. José Taboada de Jesús, president of the Puerto Rico Police Members Association. “We call on the colleagues of the Puerto Rico Police and the Municipal Police not to drop the cases of these people who used explosives that exploded in their hands, injuring their bodies and putting them in an emergency room. No one can claim that they did not know about the danger of using illegal explosives.”

Puerto Ricans were informed well in advance about the danger of using explosives to celebrate Christmas, the law enforcement leader reiterated. On this occasion, the violators of the law on explosives confronted an oriented population and alert neighbors who used their cell phones to record violations with the use of multiple variations of explosive materials on New Year’s Eve, he said.

“They are already beginning to show evidence of the disorder caused by these irresponsible people who kept an entire community in agony with the detonation of thousands of firecrackers and quarter-sticks of dynamite,” Taboada de Jesús said. “We urge residents to protect these videos so they can be used in the courts.”

He said the Puerto Rico Police Bureau carried out exceptional intelligence work, conducting raids that managed to remove millions of firecrackers, quarter-sticks of dynamite and illegal pyrotechnic material that would have otherwise impacted the tranquility of communities.

“However, the mafia that exists at the country’s docks managed to circumvent security and inspections so that more than 20 wagons [containers] of explosive material easily entered the country,” Taboada de Jesús said. “We insist that these violators of neighborhood peace must be taught a lesson.”

“We have to make complaints against everyone who, knowing the risk and knowing that the use of quarter-sticks of dynamite or illegally manufactured instruments could cause damage,” he added.

The law enforcement officer was adamant in insisting violators “must be prosecuted in the courts of the country.”

“There are many laws here that allow and support the Puerto Rico Police to be able to file complaints against anyone who is in a hospital convalescing from a wound caused by the mishandling of an explosive,” Taboada de Jesús said. “Being injured does not exonerate a person from the violation.”

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