Associated Press Reporter
and Daily Mail Reporter
13:49 GMT, 5 March 2014
14:06 GMT, 5 March 2014
A 47-year-old Philadelphia man has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for firing a weapon into the air.
Francis Aponte was at an outdoor party in June 2012 when two Philadelphia police officers saw him shoot a gun into the air.
KYW-AM said that act, along with a criminal record including at least one
prior felony, has resulted in the 20-year sentence handed down Tuesday.
Celebration: Francis Aponte was at an outdoor party in June 2012 when two Philadelphia police officers saw him shoot a gun into the air
No one was hurt, but federal prosecutor Jose Arteaga argued that the defendant committed a potentially lethal offense.
Arteaga noted several prior instances of children and adults being killed or disabled in similar incidents in Philadelphia.
‘I cite an example of a four-year-old boy who was killed when the
bullet enered the top of his head when an individual fired a gun into
the air,’ he said.
Danger: Authorities said that even though no one was shot, firing a gun into the air has led to life threatening injuries in the past for victims of stray bullets
‘There was a seven-year-old that was killed. There was a
34-year-old woman that was killed while she was standing in a back
yard,’ he added.
In another instance, Philadelphia man Joey Jaskolka was permanently injured when he was hit by stray gunfire on New Year’s Eve 1998.
Jaskolka has since had more than 50 surgeries and regular rehabilitation sessions to regain a semblance of his full physical capabilities.