18-year-old from Westerly charged after firecracker prank at Hopkinton gas station

18-year-old from Westerly charged after firecracker prank at Hopkinton gas station

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HOPKINTON — A Westerly man is facing charges after police said he threw a lit pack of firecrackers at a friend who was fueling their car with gas at the Bradford Bestway station on Ashaway Road.

The man, Manuel Lebron, 18, of 65 Bowling Lane, was charged Wednesday with one count of disorderly conduct. Police said the charges were “kept direct” because Lebron was cooperative with officers and the prank did not result in significant damage or injuries.

Hopkinton police said Lebron turned himself in a day after the incident, which occurred just before 1 p.m. Tuesday.

“This was certainly a case where the young man did not consider the consequences of his actions,” said Hopkinton Police Capt. Mark Carrier. “It was a lack of common sense and good judgment and forunately, the impact was minimal. This case could have had a very different outcome that could have negatively impacted the lives of other people forever.”

According to the police report, Lebron and a friend had stopped at the station on Tuesday on their way to the beach. While his friend was pumping gas, the police said Lebron threw the lit fireworks out the window. Police said three other cars were at the pumps and the explosion panicked the witnesses.

The station owner immediately called police, fearing there could be a fire and a more serious explosion, and provided a description of car and license plate. The pair took off before officers arrived.

Carrier said Lebron and his friend, who had been driving on Tuesday, were called in to the police station the next day. Both admitted to their involvement in the incident. Earlier in the day, they said, the friend had pulled a similar trick on Lebron.  

Police said Lebron also apologized to officers and expressed regret, police reports indicated. He was released on a promise to appear in Fourth Division District Court.



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