Charges move forward after dangerous firework explosion in Rome - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Charges move forward after dangerous firework explosion in Rome

ROME (WAOW)--A case involving explosive fireworks that injured almost a dozen people is moving forward. That incident occurred outside Romano's Pizzeria in Rome last July.

Charges against the man police say is responsible are moving forward.

A judge ruled there is enough evidence to charge Michael Rose, the man they say was operating the fireworks.

According to court documents, people hoping to see the colorful display in the sky should have been at least 350 feet away. It says on-lookers were as close as 39 feet.

Court records say Rose didn't know how far away people had to be. When officials asked him why he didn't look up the numbers, he didn't answer.

The documents say this isn't the first time the fireworks show has been held at Romano's, and a proper permit was issued.

Rose also told officials he had 34 years of experience.

Rose was initially charged with three counts. But the ruling from the judge Monday means the case will move forward with only one charge. That's a count of negligent use of an explosive.

Also in this case, the Rome Fire Chief John Frantz was investigated. Officials say he was the one who issued a permit for the show.

They say he was suspended for 10 days and has since returned to work. Authorities say he should have been aware of the dangers for spectators being that close.

Frantz says he just wants to move forward. Neither Rose, nor his attorney wished to comment on the case. Rose is scheduled to appear in court next month.

Online Reporter: Cassandra Vinch

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