Florida Man Faces Child Cruelty Charge After Throwing Lit Firecrackers Under Child’s Bed

CNN Newsource
By CNN Newsource
July 7, 2019US News
Florida Man Faces Child Cruelty Charge After Throwing Lit Firecrackers Under Child’s Bed
Stock photo of a police car. (Pixabay)

Okaloosa County, FLORIDA—A man in Okaloosa County is facing several charges, including child cruelty, after he threw lit firecrackers under a sleeping child’s bed as a prank, the sheriff’s office told WFTS.

Matthew Morrison, 44, told deputies it was a “prank gone wrong.” The 9-year-old victim told deputies the prank scared her to the point of crying and shaking, according to the sheriff’s office.

Morrison was living in a tent outside of the Godfrey Street home, according to the homeowner.

Deputies say on Saturday morning he entered the home without permission and threw the string of lit firecrackers under the sleeping child’s bed.

The homeowner then chased Morrison out of the home with a stick, according to deputies.

When deputies took Morrison into custody they found two grams of methamphetamine in his pocket. He is charged with child cruelty without great harm, burglary, and possession of a controlled substance.

Fireworks Gone Wrong

In another fireworks-related incident this week, a family of four was injured Houston on June 4 night after a suspect fired a gun at their car, igniting the newly-bought fireworks inside.

The children, a 1-year-old and a 2-year-old, sustained “severe burns” and had to be life flighted for their injuries, according to Deputy Tom Turner with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office violent crimes unit.

He told reporters at the scene that two men had “exchanged words” and pulled into a gas station parking lot.

Both men got out of their vehicles and one of them took out a firearm, Turner said.

The other man, who had just purchased fireworks nearby, Turner said, returned to his car and started to leave with his wife and two children.

That’s when the suspect fired into their car, Turner said. One of the rounds hit the fireworks inside, “causing the fireworks to explode” and “catching the vehicle on fire.”

The man started to drive away but stopped, according to Turner. Some Good Samaritans stopped to help the family and took them to a nearby urgent care clinic.

The children were then life flighted to the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston with “severe burns,” the deputy said. The mother and father were also transported to a hospital.

The suspect, who fled the scene, was described by the victim as a mixed-race man in his 20s, Turner said. He was believed to be driving a light-colored, newer model Ford Expedition and he may have been with a woman and two other people.

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