Scare Prompts Stampede During Philly's July 4th Fireworks - New York News

Scare Prompts Stampede During Philly's July 4th Fireworks

Posted: Updated:
PHILADELPHIA -

There was a panic on the Ben Franklin Parkway on the Fourth of July, with people yelling and confused, fearing the worst.

What was mostly a smooth night ended with some people running scared.

But the question is why?

FOX 29's Jeff Cole spoke to people right in the middle of the madness and filed this report Friday night live from the parkway with some answers.

Cell phone video shows the moments of panic at about 11:30 p.m. Thursday as the July 4th fireworks exploded in the distance.

John Piorkowski says he gathered up his two kids, his girlfriend, held up his cell phone, clicked record – and ran.

He said there were "literally hundreds of people running at us."

"We waited for the first wave to hit us, and we ran," he said.

The video shows concert-goers hurrying off, firefighters directing people and what appears a police helicopter in the air directing a spot light to the ground.

"I saw cops running. They appeared to grabbing their guns. It was very crazy and nuts," Piorkowski said.

The 38-year-old South Jersey contractor wasn't the only one caught up in the commotion.

A family visiting from Annapolis, Md., says the scene unfolded right in front of them.

"A bunch of people said, ‘Run, run,'" the father said. "We hid behind a post and watched as lots of cops came into the area."

The Philly July 4th events on the Parkway draw a big and diverse crowd, and last night was true to form.

When FOX 29 News called police about Thursday night's stampede, the public relations staff had no answers but said there had been no reports of gunplay or violence.

By mid-afternoon, Deputy Mayor Everett Gillison revealed the unrest had been caused by firecrackers tossed to the ground, prompting some to run.

Asked if it would influence his decision to the Parkway again to celebrate Independence Day, Piorkowski said, "Can't stop living your life due to incidents like this. It will not stop us from coming back."

Here are links to more YouTube videos showing the commotion:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IRDqvcZMmOM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AG-b1tyHNE4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KslxqzdKQsI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kow_qESXPr0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vNZDOq6yKyQ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f4PA-vdu4RU

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Gesh5oslPg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LehA-FZZqiM

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Memo urges cops to use discretion for jaywalking summonses

    Memo urges cops to use discretion for jaywalking summonses

    Thursday, April 17 2014 1:57 PM EDT2014-04-17 17:57:48 GMT
    A memo from NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton instructs police officers to use discretion when ticketing elderly and disabled pedestrians for jaywalking. This comes after an 84-year-old jaywalker was injured during his arrest on the Upper West Side in January. The memo which was was dated April 15 reads:  "Use discretion when elderly or handicapped persons are observed jaywalking.... If pedestrian actions are not causing a safety risk... warn and admonish the violator instead."
    A memo from NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton instructs police officers to use discretion when ticketing elderly and disabled pedestrians for jaywalking. This comes after an 84-year-old jaywalker was injured during his arrest on the Upper West Side in January. The memo which was was dated April 15 reads in part:  "Use discretion when elderly or handicapped persons are observed jaywalking.... If pedestrian actions are not causing a safety risk... warn and admonish the violator instead."
  • Man with samurai sword arrested at New Jersey deli

    Man with samurai sword arrested at New Jersey deli

    Thursday, April 17 2014 9:27 AM EDT2014-04-17 13:27:28 GMT
    New Jersey NewsNew Jersey News
    Employees at a southern New Jersey deli say they feared for their lives when a man walked in and brandished a samurai sword. It happened at American Deli in Lower Township.
    Employees at a southern New Jersey deli say they feared for their lives when a man walked in and brandished a samurai sword. It happened at American Deli in Lower Township.
  • Rifle seized after squirrel shooting in Milford

    Rifle seized after squirrel shooting in Milford

    Thursday, April 17 2014 8:48 AM EDT2014-04-17 12:48:12 GMT
    Connecticut State NewsConnecticut State News
    Police say they found an unregistered assault rifle and three large-capacity magazines in the home of a Milford man accused of shooting a squirrel.  James Toigo has been charged with unlawful discharge of a firearm, cruelty to an animal, reckless endangerment, breach of peace, failure to register an assault rifle and possessing large-capacity magazines.
    Police say they found an unregistered assault rifle and three large-capacity magazines in the home of a Milford man accused of shooting a squirrel.  James Toigo has been charged with unlawful discharge of a firearm, cruelty to an animal, reckless endangerment, breach of peace, failure to register an assault rifle and possessing large-capacity magazines.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices