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Firecracker ignited in Buckley

Staff Writer

Published: Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Updated: Friday, August 23, 2013 16:08

Buckley Hall dormitory was evacuated Sunday when a firecracker set off on the sixth floor of the south tower triggered the fire alarms. Alexander Kosakowski, a 2nd-semester student, set of the firecracker, according to Captain Hans Rhynhart of the UConn Police Department.

The fire department responded to the alarm late Sunday night and a short investigation determined the firecracker was the cause of the alarm and police were called in. Kosakowski, who confessed to the floor’s resident assistant, was arrested and charged with disturbance of the peace in the second degree, reckless endangerment in the second degree, and possession of fireworks.

The sixth floor resident assistant Antoni Brzoska an 8th-semester math major said, “A resident set off a firecracker as an April Fool’s joke. Basically, the firemen determined that the firecracker went on this floor. The resident admitted to me that he did it and we went to the cops and he was arrested.”

He continued to say that as far as he knew, the Department of Residential Life had not yet determined the consequences Kosakowski will face. Buckley-Shippee Resident Hall Director Joliana Yee was unable to comment.

Many of the students living on the sixth floor did not hear the firecracker go off, but those who did described it as a loud popping sound.

Daniel Malik, a 2nd semester molecular cell biology major said, “It was a loud pop. It wasn’t as loud as you would think. Someone describe it as slamming a door. It was indistinguishable from the typical loud noise you hear in a dorm…It may have startled a few people, most people didn’t know what happened until we came back up.”

“I just hear a loud pop,” said Matt Markelon, a 2nd-semester pre-pharmacy major. “I honestly though it was nerf guns. I didn’t know it was a firecracker, but when we went out in the hall it smelt really weird.”

Jeff White, a 2nd-semester computer science major, described it the simplest terms, “It was a firecracker, it went bang.”

The housing contract that all students on campus agree to forbids the possession of firecrackers in the dorms. It reads, “The possession of firearms, ammunition, and any weapons including but not limited to knives, bows, guns, BB guns, paint ball guns, soft air guns, slingshots, and launching devices, is prohibited in on-campus housing. This also extends to any projectile objects, firecrackers, gunpowder and other explosive or potentially dangerous objects.”

Connecticut state law prohibits the possession of fireworks with the exception of sparklers and foundations, according to the Connecticut General Assembly’s website. Both sparklers and foundations are defined in CT law as “nonexplosive and nonaerial” devices that contain less than 100 grams for each device. In other words, anything that creates a flame is illegal for personal use because most of those devices are highly explosive, examples include party poppers and smoke devices. The law further states that a person who violates that law “shall be fined not more than one hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than ninety days or be both fined and imprisoned.” Meaning, a person could be fined up to $100 or place in prison for up 90 days. Exceptions to this include instances when the value of illegal fireworks intended for sale exceed $10,000 or someone is killed or injured.

Reckless endangerment in the second degree, a class B misdemeanor, is defined by CT law as “when [a person] recklessly engages in conduct which creates a risk of physical injury to another person.” Those charged with class B misdemeanors can serve up to 6 months in jail and/or be fined up to $1000, according to the Connecticut State Library website.

Kosakowski’s court date is set for April 10. He was unavailable for comment.  

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