A group of men in Maryland were caught on camera shooting illegal fireworks towards a resident at point-blank range and laughing hysterically.
The disturbing footage was taken this week in Baltimore, just one of several cities across the US that was recently inundated with illegal fireworks going off at all hours of the night.
Cell phone footage of the incident shows at least nine mean standing in a roadway with a number of illegal fireworks in their possession.
Suddenly, the group turns their attention to a shirtless man who jumps out of a nearby car as they begin aiming explosive fireworks at him.
The men can be seen holding fireworks in their hands while chasing after the targeted man, who attempts to flee the flying pyrotechnics.
Any acknowledgement of danger is shrugged off as the men, on several instances, aim the fireworks at the victim at point-blank range.
The targeted man escapes off the roadway and onto a nearby sidewalk, but the group of firework users follow him.
They back the shirtless man against the wall and begin to let loose several firework displays at once.
The man repeatedly tries to block the incoming projectiles with his hands to no avail.
An unidentified man (pictured) in Baltimore, Maryland, was the target of a fireworks attack when several men aimed lit pyrotechnics at him
The targeted man attempted to block the incoming fireworks, but footage showed he was hit on his arm, chest, head and hands
Witnesses can be heard screaming as the group herds the man down the street and continue to aim fireworks.
The fireworks can been seen hitting the man on his back, chest, hand and head throughout the incident.
The man tries to run back into the roadway, but one of the firework users grabs a red garbage can and throws it over his head.
The man falls down while the group further breaks down into hysterics.
It’s unclear what transpired before or after the incident, but Baltimore residents were shocked by the hazardous incident.
‘You throw it the wrong way, it hits you in the face, you lose an eye. It can wedge into your belt, you know, you can have some serious injuries that way,’ resident Dan Zywan, of Baltimore, told WBAL-TV.
The group of men managed to herd the unidentified victim towards a building, where they cornered him and let loose several fireworks
Joseph Lewis shared similar sentiments, adding: ‘It’s just dangerous. I mean you have to make better choices.’
Maryland State Fire Marshal Brian Geraci said scenes like that are very dangerous, but are only exacerbated because homemade explosives are now showing up on the streets.
‘They may look like fireworks, but they are not they are commonly known as M80s, M1000s or M100s,’ said Geraci.
‘These devices are illegal explosive devices, and they are powerful enough to cause severe amputations and death.
Maryland’s fireworks laws mandate that it’s illegal to have displays explode mid-air and even possessing them can come with a $250 fine per firework.
Baltimore residents have noticed a surge in out-of-state firework discounts being advertised on billboard and on radio programs.
Pictured: the unidentified victim being hit with a pyrotechnic explosive by a group of men in Baltimore, Maryland
Maryland State Fire Marshal Brian Geraci said residents are now using homemade explosives in addition to illegal fireworks
They want local authorities to pursue the sellers and buyers.
‘I don’t particularly care for it. It’s scary. A lot of times, they go off and you don’t know what it is and it scares me and my grandchildren,’ said Brenda Knotts.
‘I think fireworks and stuff like that has its own place.’
Across the United States, residents have repeatedly complained for weeks of loud booms and heavy-duty fireworks, like Roman candles, going off throughout the night.
In some cases, fireworks have become another rallying cry for protesters fighting police brutality and racism after the death of George Floyd.
Other residents said the fireworks are celebratory over the fact that coronavirus pandemic restrictions are gradually loosening.
According to Brooklyn resident Djani, who was one of the several people setting of fireworks, its being done in celebration.
‘We’re basically celebrating the fact that we survived,’ he told The New York Times, referencing the coronavirus pandemic and quarantine.
‘You know when you have a storm and finally the rain is letting up.’
Pictured: a New York City resident in Harlem sets off a firework explosive in his hand on June 20 as some admitted to using the pyrotechnics as a peaceful, nonviolent form of protest against law enforcement
Nights in New York City have become overwhelmed by large booms from firecrackers, bottle rocks and other explosives that were set alight across all five boroughs as thousands of complaints have been made by residents over ongoing noise throughout the night
Between January 1 and June 21, New York City’s 911 centers received 13,315 calls for illegal fireworks
In New York City, more than 1,700 complaints related to illegal fireworks and noise disturbances were made in the first half of June. The same period last year only saw 21 complaints.
Between January 1 and June 21, New York City’s 911 centers received 13,315 calls for illegal fireworks.
311 call centers were overwhelmed with 11,534 calls over illegal fireworks in the same time span.
Footage taken in all five boroughs shows a plethora of launched pyrotechnics both into the sky and at other New Yorkers,
Last week, separate footage showed a group of men aiming fireworks at each other in a local park.
Two men were reportedly injured in separate incidents involving the explosives. A 33-year-old man was hit in Brooklyn and a teenager was struck in the chest in the Bronx. Both men were said to be in a critical condition.
Cell phone footage taken last week in New York City showed a number of residents setting off large Roman candle fireworks in the middle of the night
Five days later, cell phone footage showed a 66-year-old homeless man being set on fire after he was intentionally hit with a firework while he slept on the street.
And one day later, at least six people were arrested during a citywide crackdown on fireworks. Authorities seized $6,000 worth of explosives.
In response to the barrage of fireworks in the city, residents drove outside New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s home in the middle of the night and honked their horns.
‘If we cannot sleep, we will not let the mayor sleep,’ New York City Councilman Chaim Deutsch, who addressed a crowd of protesters on Monday, said.
Deutsch led chants of ‘If we don’t sleep, you don’t sleep’ and, ‘We need leadership.’
Since June 1, there have been more than 4,500 calls to the police complaining of fireworks in Brooklyn alone.
De Blasio later announced that city authorities would crackdown on firework suppliers and assemble a special task force.