By Steve Tawa
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia’s top law enforcement officials say there’s nothing festive about people shooting weapons into the air to celebrate New Year’s Eve.
“It’s a stupid act than can have tragic and deadly consequences,” says Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams who also says there is zero tolerance for people firing a gun into the air.
On December 31st, 1998, Joe Jaskolka was struck in the head while walking along Fernon Street, near Second in South Philadelphia. He was 11 years old. Now 24, he is paralyzed on the right side of his body and face and has undergone nearly 55 surgeries to his brain and eyes.
“He’s in a wheelchair…doesn’t have to be. Doesn’t have to be,” says his father, Gregory.
Last New Year’s Eve between 11 p.m. and 3 a.m., Philadelphia police received 117 reports of gunshots fired. On an average night on the streets of the city, police might receive a maximum of 10 reports of gunshots fired.