Border Patrol Agent’s Gender-Reveal Celebration Sparked Arizona Fire, Lawyer Says
When Dennis Dickey, a United States Border Patrol agent from Arizona, fired at a target filled with colorful powder, he was expecting to discover the gender of his future youngster, his lawyer mentioned.
As an alternative, the target erupted and sparked a fire that consumed more than 45,000 acres of land and resulted in a lot more than $eight million in damages, the United States lawyer&rsquos office for Arizona said.
On Friday, Mr. Dickey pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor violation of United States Forest Service regulations for igniting what became identified as the Sawmill Fire, which started on April 23, 2017, and had almost 800 firefighters battling it for about a week.
The fire began even though Mr. Dickey was off duty near Green Valley, Ariz., about 26 miles south of Tucson, to celebrate his wife&rsquos pregnancy, his lawyer, Sean Chapman, told The Arizona Day-to-day Star.
Mr. Dickey shot at a target that contained Tannerite, a highly explosive substance made for use by lengthy-distance shooters. The substance, when placed with colorful packets of powder and shot at, can fill the air with colorful residue for gender-reveal parties: blue for boys or pink for girls.
Mr. Dickey fired a rifle at the target, and the resulting explosion set off a fire that spread to the Coronado National Forest, the authorities said. Mr. Dickey instantly reported the fire and admitted that he started it, according to the United States attorney&rsquos office.
Sturdy winds produced it challenging to include the fire, and tall grass and brush fueled it. It took far more than a week for firefighters to completely extinguish it.
In court on Friday, Mr. Dickey told a United States magistrate judge that the fire had been &ldquoa total accident,&rdquo according to The Daily Star. &ldquoI really feel definitely horrible about it. It was possibly 1 of the worst days of my life,&rdquo he said.
Mr. Dickey, who is nonetheless a Border Patrol agent, and his lawyer could not be reached for comment on Monday.
Tannerite is an explosive compound created up of ammonium nitrate and aluminum powder. It has turn out to be an increasingly well-liked method for gender reveals, which began with cake cutting or balloon releases and have trended in recent years toward approaches that make a bang. Videos posted online show individuals shooting at boxes or containers that erupt into clouds of blue or pink dust.
But gender-reveal celebrations of all varieties don&rsquot usually go as planned. In a single video posted to YouTube in 2016, a family stands beneath a box, waiting for balloons to drop, only to have it fall on them. In one more instance, a man was smacked in the face by a ball filled with blue powder.
As portion of his plea agreement, Mr. Dickey agreed to serve five years of probation and make a public service announcement with the Forest Service about the trigger of the Sawmill Fire. He has also agreed to pay restitution, beginning with a $100,000 initial payment and month-to-month payments following that, officials said.
He is scheduled to seem in court for sentencing later this month.
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Published at Mon, 01 Oct 2018 22:14:49 +0000