HPD receives 550 fireworks-related calls over Thanksgiving week, residents say they’re frustrated

Local News

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Many residents across Oahu say they heard loud pops and bangs of illegal fireworks over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

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“Every night is ridiculous because you don’t know when they’re gonna be set off,” said Waianae resident Richard Drake Jones.

Jones said the use of illegal fireworks has gotten out of control in his neighborhood.

“It’s been very frustrating. We have two service people (on our street). One is the Army Sergeant, the other one is in the Navy. And both of them suffer from PTSD. And when these pipe bombs go off. These guys. It really affects them quite a bit.”

Richard Drake Jones, Waianae resident

The Honolulu Police Department (HPD) said they received about 550 fireworks related calls last week. That is already a quarter of the total number of calls it has received throughout December of 2019. HPD says they received 2,100 calls back then.

“The most concerning thing is for the first time we have them do it at all hours of the night when people are trying to sleep and people are already at their edge right now. People have had a tough year,” said Honolulu City Council Member Kymberly Pine. “I want to encourage everybody that knows who’s doing it you have to call the police.”

Pine said police have told her that they are receiving calls, but some residents aren’t specific enough when it comes to specifying where the fireworks are coming from. She said if people call, they should be as specific as possible about where the fireworks are coming from and they should take pictures or video if they can to help officers out.

However, the loud explosions aren’t just affecting humans, but pets too.

Hiwalani and Lance Chang, who live in Kapolei, said while they were out picking up their Thanksgiving meal, their dog, Nanea, ran away from home, frightened by the loud pops of fireworks. The couple learned soon after that Nanea was struck by a car and had to be hospitalized.

“It’s our worst nightmare. We get there and she’s on a gurney. She’s in shock. She has four IVs connected to her,” said Hiwalani Chang.

However, she and her husband tell KHON2, the loud bangs aren’t a surprise in their neighborhood.

“It feels like the boom happened right on top of our roofs. It goes really, really, really that close. So that’s what it feels like. But you feel the vibrations in the wall,” said Lance Chang.

“We have been noticing a lot more of these loud firework booms, which seems early in the last week or so,” said Daniel Roselle, with the Hawaiian Humane Society.

The Hawaiian Humane Society said pet owners need to be alert at all times.

“We’re really asking everybody to think about their pets, and make sure that they’re in a safe place. It’s not just, you know, New Year’s and it’s not just Christmas, we know what’s happening all the time. But just throughout the season keep an eye on them and keep an eye on what’s going on in the neighborhood to make sure your pets are safe.”

Daniel Roselle, Hawaiian Humane Society spokesman

He adds that if your pet goes missing this holiday season, do not wait. Roselle says you should call the Hawaiian Humane Society at 356-2228. To report a missing pet, they can file a lost report with the Hawaiian Humane Society and submit pictures and information of the missing pet. He said social media can also help find lost pets.

For people who find a lost pet, Roselle recommends they reach out and file a found report at the Hawaiian Humane Society website.

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