FDNY Nets Massive Fireworks Bust on Staten Island; 2 Queens Residents Charged

silive.com - June 24, 2020

by Joseph Ostapiuk

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STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- The FDNY touted a massive fireworks bust on Staten Island Tuesday, allegedly seizing more than $6,000 worth of illegal fireworks, the department announced.

Matthew King, 35, a resident of 157th Avenue in Queens, and Rayval Singh, 22, a resident of 124th Street in Queens, both face charges of reckless endangerment and unlawful dealing of fireworks, according to both the FDNY and NYPD.

Both men were arrested on Staten Island by FDNY Fire Marshals conducting surveillance to curtail recent extensive illegal firework use, according to the FDNY.

The arrests took place on the Staten Island Expressway, near the Goethals Bridge, according to an NYPD spokeswoman.

Attorney information for both men was not immediately available.

The bust came shortly after Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the creation of a task force centered on weeding out fireworks suppliers in the city as well as in neighboring states.

The Sheriff’s office, FDNY and the NYPD are a part of the force that consists of more than 40 officers from each department, including 12 FDNY Fire Marshals, the NYPD Intelligence Bureau and deputy sheriffs.

On the North and South Shores of Staten Island, borough residents say they have noticed an uptick in fireworks being fired off in their neighborhoods — helping spark a rise in 311 complaints on the Island, the Advance/SILive.com previously reported.

According to city data, Staten Island has logged 54 fireworks complaints through the first two weeks of June — increasing almost 500% from last year’s total throughout the entire month, when there was only 11 complaints logged.

Throughout May, 14 complaints were made on Staten Island through the 311 system. No complaints were made during May 2019.

Citywide, there has been a 4,000% increase in complaints during the first two weeks of June, compared to the same time frame in 2019, according to Gothamist.

Officials noted that 311 expanded its system in late June 2019 to allow customers to submit complaints online, which was expected to lead to an increase in the subsequent data.

Following Tuesday’s arrest, the FDNY urged New Yorkers to report fireworks in their area.

“Fireworks are illegal in New York City. FDNY urges all New Yorkers to call 311 to anonymously report the use, delivery or sale of fireworks,” the FDNY wrote. “If you see something dangerous, call 911.”