Police are investigating a recent incident outside the house of two Rockland county rabbis. Two separate explosions outside the homes of Avremel Kotlarsky, the Director of Chabad, and Simcha Morganstern, an associate rabbi at the Chabad of Rockland, are believed to be religiously premeditated.
Fireworks caused the dangerous explosions. Witnesses recount hearing loud booms and seeing four young men flee the scenes of the crimes. Embers from the fireworks lit a tree in front of one home on fire and came close to reaching the siding of the house.
The regional director of the ACL of New York tells NBC that these actions have the potential to sever racial ties within the community. He says, “While we are relieved that nobody was injured, such a troubling incident like this can effectively intimidate the broader Jewish community, leaving them feeling vulnerable and at risk.”
For more than 100 years, state courts have looked to their state histories while construing state laws. However, it turns out that New York State has changed the laws considering fireworks, without many knowing.
Last year, New York State allowed each county across the state to pass their own laws concerning firework usage. Those counties with strict laws against fireworks include Erie, Genesse, Orleans, and Wyoming. Those who reside in Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, and Niagara counties are all able to purchase specific kinds of fireworks for recreational purposes.
For those who are considering heading to another county to buy fireworks and bring them back into a county where they are illegal, better think again. Doing so can charge you with unlawful dealing with fireworks, a class B misdemeanor.
Even though Rockland County doesn’t make either list, it is a rule in New York State that the fireworks must be purchased by someone who is 18 years and older between July 1-5.
Plus, legal fireworks do come with some specifications. They must be limited in size from one to 500 grams of pyrotechnic composition, which means sparkling fountains, sparklers on wooden sticks, and paper-wrapped snappers are all legal. Fireworks that shoot off into the air are still illegal all over the state.
Police ask anyone with information regarding the recent explosions to call the Clarkstown Police Department at 1-845-639-5840.