(June 8, 2015)- A Cape Coral man who was making homemade fireworks and caused an explosion in his north Cape Coral Condominium will not face criminal charges.
Justin McHenry, 31 of Cape Coral sustained severe, life-threatening injuries when homemade fireworks he was attempting to make in his kitchen, exploded the evening of May 1, 2015. At around 6:30 PM, the Cape Coral Police Department received a call of a possible explosion at 3956 Pomodoro Circle, Isles of Porto Vista.
Responding Police and and Cape Coral Fire Department units found McHenry sitting outside on the ground with life threatening injuries, consistent with what might be sustained in an explosion. The apartment had broken windows, doors blown off, and smoke was coming from the apartment.
CCFD did a preliminary search and found no one else inside the apartment. LCEMS arrived on scene and transported the victim to a local hospital as a Trauma Alert. Lee County Bomb Squad, Lee County Sheriff’s Office, FBI, and FDLE all responded to the scene to assist with the investigation.
Over the last few weeks, Detectives have been conducting their investigation. Copious evidence including testimonial, photographic, physical, and forensic evidence was collected, and lab work completed.
On May 21, 2015, Detectives submitted an application for an arrest warrant to the State Attorney's Office for the charge of FSS 790.161 (3) Making, possessing, projecting, placing, or discharging any destructive device or attempt to do so. A 1st degree Felony.
On June 1, 2015, the Cape Coral Police Department was sent notice that the State Attorney's Office denied the application for the arrest of Justin McHenry. With this, the Cape Coral Police Department has closed this case, and will not pursue any additional criminal charges.
"We want to thank all of our local, State, and Federal partners who assisted in this investigation. We also want to take this opportunity to thank the men and women of the Cape Coral Police Department for putting together a comprehensive case. We understand and respect the State's decision not to pursue charges in this case.
As we head into the time of year where fireworks are prevalent, we cannot say it strongly or frequently enough: Fireworks can fun...but they can be incredibly dangerous. No one should EVER attempt to make, modify, or disassemble their own fireworks. Fireworks are designed to burn at incredibly hot temperatures and some are designed to explode. We have included a couple of photos from the scene below showing what can happen when playing with fireworks goes horribly wrong. Leave fireworks to the professionals."- Det. Sergeant Dana Coston, Cape Coral Police Department Public Affairs Officer.
Link to warrant application packet: Warrant Application Packet
Link to original news release: Cape Coral Police Investigating Explosion; One Hospitalized
Link to 9-1-1 call: UPDATE: Cape Coral Police Department Releases 9-11 Call From Weekend Explosion
CAPE CORAL POLICE DEPARTMENT | Public Affairs Office | 1100 Cultural Park Boulevard | Cape Coral, FL 33990 | (239) 242-3341