Updated January 14, 2022 - 11:54 am
A Las Vegas man was arrested after he admitted to throwing fireworks into a crowd on the Strip and melting a boy’s mask to his face.
Officers responded to the Mirage just after 7 p.m. on Jan. 3 after a woman called to report that she had been injured by a firework while watching the casino’s pyrotechnic volcano show. Police said the firework was thrown from a white 2010 Ford Mustang with blue or purple racing stripes and a “Ford” graphic across the windshield.
Police said the woman suffered second-degree burns to the back of her left leg, and a child nearby suffered second-degree burns to the bridge of his nose after sparks caused his surgical mask to melt to his skin.
Surveillance footage showed the car continue driving south on the Strip, and someone inside lit and threw another firework at a red 2021 Chevrolet Corvette at the intersection of South Las Vegas Boulevard and East Harmon Avenue. The firework “caused burn damage so severe it burned the carbon fiber body of the vehicle,” police said in a recently released arrest report.
None of the surveillance footage was clear enough to identify the Mustang’s license plate number, but police said an officer spotted the car on Monday and identified the registered owner as 19-year-old Jonathan Arriaga.
Police located Arriaga outside of his father’s house in east Las Vegas on Tuesday morning and took him into custody. He initially denied knowing anything about the fireworks, but ultimately admitted to throwing them.
According to his arrest report, Arriaga told police that he “tried to throw it in the area where there wasn’t too many people,” and even turned around to drive by the Mirage and see if anyone was hurt. He said he didn’t know he had hurt anyone.
Arriaga said he bought the fireworks at a shop near Area 51 for New Year’s Eve, but had two leftover and wanted to set them off on the Strip. He said he knew what he did was dangerous because the fireworks were big, adding that “it was for sure going to be on the news.”
He told police he didn’t want to hurt anyone and, if he could speak with the victims, “I would tell them I’m sorry and I would pay for their injuries.”
Arriaga is being held at the Clark County Detention Center on charges of using explosives to damage or destroy property or human insides and possession of an explosive or fire device, battery with a deadly weapon and throwing a substance at a vehicle and causing damages worth more than $2,500. He was expected in court Thursday morning.