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Fireworks Stolen in Burglary From Bunnell Shop Blamed For Severe Injuries to 2 Boys

| July 12, 2017

The type of fireworks stolen. (FCSO)

The type of fireworks stolen. (FCSO)

On July 9, two boys, ages 7 and 8, sustained what the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office described as “life-altering injuries” when they lit fireworks that almost immediately exploded next to them. The boys required hospitalization with injuries to their faces.

The boys, Faizon Brown, 8, and Philant Butler, 7, later said they’d found the fireworks lying around as they were playing Sunday afternoon in the park next to the Carver Center on Drain Street in Bunnell.

A deputy who reported to the scene noted in an incident report that he “found multiple fragments of a hand, and blood within the women’s bathroom,” suggesting that the fireworks had been lit inside the bathroom. The fireworks are believed to have been corrupted or altered by the time they were found.

A woman who saw the children run out went to their rescue and took them to the hospital. (It’s not clear where the parents of the children were at the time. One of the children’s mother, Rochelle Brown, completed four years’ probation a year ago on charges of child abuse and contributing to the delinquency of a child.)

Today, the Sheriff’s Office traced the altered fireworks likely to a shop in Bunnell that was burglarized sometime on July 9 or 10. The two boys injured at Carver park were not involved in the burglary, the Sheriff’s Office said. The shop, Big Nic’s Boom Boom Sticks, operates for a month each year, leading up to the July 4 holiday. (The sheriff’s report lists the building’s address as 2121 North State Street, but the building in question is actually at 23 County Road 13, at the corner of U.S. 1 and County Road 13). Brett Lyons, 33, of Palm Coast, leases the property for that month from Jay Gardner, the Flagler County Property Appraiser, according to a Sheriff’s Office report.

The building Jay Gardner leases to Bennett, at the corner of County Road 13 and U.S. 1.

The building Jay Gardner leases to Brett Lyons, at the corner of County Road 13 and U.S. 1.

“The guy came to me a couple of years back, said hey, I’d like to use your property for a month or so, I told him, get yourself an occupational license, knock yourself out,” Gardner said this evening. “It’s just a little thing that happens for about a month.”

Lyons told police his business sells the fireworks seasonally, and that he was in the process of removing all his property from the building but wasn’t done. He said he was last at the building at 11 a.m. on July 9. The incident involving the children at the park was reported five hours later. “All of his property was accounted for” at 11 a.m., the report states. The reporting deputy goes on: “While I was on scene, Lyons was unable to confirm if any of his property was in fact missing from within the building.”

A detective had reported to the scene after being told that “individuals had broken into” the building, the report states. Glass was
busted out of a window on the south side of the building. So was a window on the north side. The detective located suspected blood on the north side window.

“We believe the fireworks that injured the boys came from this theft at Big Nic’s Boom Boom Sticks,” Brittany Kershaw, a sheriff’s spokesperson, said today. “We do not believe the boys were involved in the theft, but they somehow came into contact with the altered fireworks and ignited them. The long sticks on the end of the firework (the silver bulb one [in the picture]) were broken off, so the fuse starts at the red tip rather than the long stick that gives the ignitor time to get away before the explosion. Dozens of boxes of fireworks were rummaged through and many were taken, we estimate several dozen, but we do not have a clear number. We do not have suspects at this time.”

Three days ago, Sheriff Rick Staly had issued a caution: “If you come across fireworks in a public place, do not touch them, call law enforcement,” he said. “We don’t want to see any more fires or more injuries as a result of illegal and improper use of fireworks.”

Today the the warning is more urgent. The Sheriff’s Office and the Bunnell Police Department are asking anyone who may be in possession of these fireworks to turn them in to any police agency or fire department immediately, no questions asked.

“The primary concern is the safety of the community and children and to get these dangerous and altered fireworks off of the streets,” Staly was quoted as saying in a release issued earlier this afternoon. “We do not want to see anyone else get hurt. These stolen fireworks have already caused permanent disfigurement to two small children and one child’s life has been changed forever.”

If you have information regarding the fireworks burglary, please contact FCSO at 386-313-4911 or call Crimestoppers at 1-888-277-TIPS (8477). You may be eligible for a reward up to $1,000 for information leading to an arrest.

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10 Responses for “Fireworks Stolen in Burglary From Bunnell Shop Blamed For Severe Injuries to 2 Boys”

  1. woody says:

    No parents watching a 7&8 year old?Wandering a park alone?

  2. Layla says:

    Tell me again why these fireworks are legally sold here.

  3. Lonzo brown says:

    I thought fireworks was illegal in Flagler county, but in the P section of palm Coast was like a war zone for a week around the 4th, sheriffs dept did nothing about it I was told

  4. jane doh says:

    I believe this story involves unattended children playing with stolen fireworks. Point 1: stolen fireworks. Point 2: unattended children (where’s the parents/caregiver and why are they playing with anything that lights up; also, why were they hiding to light them?)

  5. We Need Reform says:

    NOBODY seems to care for black kids. They are considered to be “income generators” and little else

  6. Lance Carroll says:

    You are wrong!!!!! People do care about all children!!! I guarantee it! Some people don’t care but, to say NOBODY cares about black children…. YOU ARE WRONG!!!!!!! I care and so do many others!

  7. jane doh says:

    Their parents should be the first ones to care about them.

  8. We Need Reform says:

    Lance Carroll -apparently you glossed over the word “seem” and made my comment a declaratory statement only to agree by saying “Some people don’t care”. Weird…

  9. It's just me says:

    People do care stop making this more than it is. Innocent children were hurt due to neglect from their own parents

  10. djwhite077 says:

    They aren’t legal to sell as was being done here. Florida Statutes Chapter 791.02 seems pretty clear to me on this: So…I’m wondering whether Mr. Lyons was arrested for selling them and if not, why not and whether he will be? Also wondering where Sheriff Staly and our Board of County Commissioners and all City Commissioners fall on all of this…especially given not only the injuries to these children, but the cost to taxpayers to fight the fire(s?) set in Bulow Marsh, etc. The illegal fireworks continued during the entire week of the 4th in my neighborhood and surrounding area from 8:30PM to as late as 11:30PM and even 12;45AM one night. And it’s not just a Flagler County problem. My brother who lives in Port Orange had to carry his dog outside to do its business for a week after it started on Jul 1st and continued throughout the week because the dog was too frightened to go out.

    Enough is enough, already. When are officials and authorities going to start enforcing the law that is on the books? On Jul 31, 2016, I sent a letter to the editor of the Palm Coast Observer outlining how I had discovered an expended bottle rocket that had–fortunately–burned itself out in the dry leaves in the woods behind my home. My letter included this picture and was published in full.

    A year and injuries to children and fires later we’re still talking about this. And our elected officials do…nothing.

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