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Fireworks in courtroom

Guilty plea in explosive case

It really happened. A person has been fined for letting off fireworks in the city.

The City of Minot has an ordinance prohibiting the storage or igniting of fireworks within city limits. However, there is a big difference between having such an ordinance and actually catching a violator in the act. It almost never happens.

Minot Police receive numerous complaints of fireworks in the city, mostly before, during and immediately after the Fourth of July holiday. But catching those responsible for the setting off of fireworks is difficult. Violators don’t stay at the scene until police arrive.

So it was a rarity in Minot Municipal Court Thursday when a Minot man made an appearance and pleaded guilty to “discharging fireworks” in violation of the International Fire Code which has been adopted by the City of Minot.

Curiously, the violation didn’t occur during the Fourth of July holiday but rather on July 20. It was on that Saturday night that Minot Police received four separate complaints of fireworks being shot off in the 500 block of 11th Street NE. A responding police officer heard fireworks as he approached the area and, upon arrival, saw many pieces of “scrap cardboard from used fireworks” littering the street.

The officer made contact with individuals on a porch who also had what was described as a bonfire nearby. One man came forward and told the officer he “had no idea what the officer was talking about.” When informed about multiple complaints and the abundance of evidence in the adjacent street the man admitted that he had been shooting off fireworks.

After the man entered a guilty plea Thursday to the charge of discharging fireworks in the city, Judge Ashley Beall followed the recommendation of a city attorney that the defendant be assessed a penalty of $150 in fines and fees.

Minot’s Code of Ordinances prohibits the discharging of fireworks every day of the year.

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