[UPDATE] Quincy, Florida- July 5, 2012- 6:55pm
Police officers say they were ambushed by a group of people throwing illegal fireworks and explosives at them.
Police say it started with the suspects throwing "explosives" at folks who lived at an apartment complex.
People who live at the Gadsden Arms Apartment complex in Quincy say they heard the sound of firecrackers all night long Wednesday.
But, the Fourth of July tradition of fireworks turned scary, they say, when someone starting throwing fireworks at residents.
You can hear what sounds like firecrackers during WCTV's interview with a nearby resident on Thursday.
Sammie Nelson says through the popping noise, "They shouldn't have done it. They shouldn't have done it."
When officers got to 427 South Stewart Street, they say two officers were ambushed by several suspects who threw explosives at them and their cars.
Police describe it as a mortar, and say it rolled underneath the cars with enough force to shake the vehicles.
Assistant Police Chief Glenn Sapp says, "A mortar is a military weapon to shoot rounds a great distance-very explosive, very powerful; a concussion, it's deafening. It can definitely blow a person's ear drums out of their ear."
Area resident Dekarioua Johnson says, "I saw them throwing fireworks. It had sounded like a gun."
Police say they were unable to catch the suspects because it was dark outside and the suspects ran and hid.
But, when they got another call hours later about a woman who said four suspects threw a "bomb" at her, Police were able to catch one person.
They arrested 44-year-old John McNealy.
Quincy resident Sabrina Lockwood says, "That is scary and that's wrong. They got little kids around and everything."
Police say John McNealy does live at the Gadsden Arms Apartments.
Quincy Police say this has happened before. They say an officer was hospitalized from injuries suffered from someone throwing explosives.
Police are looking for the remaining suspects in Wednesday night's case. Anyone with information is asked to call 850-627-7111.
Quincy, Florida -
On July 4th at 10:34PM the Quincy Police Department responded to 427 S. Stewart Street, Gadsden Arms Apartments, after receiving complaints of explosive fireworks being thrown at residents and their apartments.
Upon arrival and to their surprise police officers were ambushed by several suspects who threw explosive fireworks at them and their vehicles. Some of the explosives detonated underneath the vehicles with enough force to shake the vehicle. Police were unable to apprehend anyone initially due to the darkness and the suspects fleeing rapidly on foot to hide.
Several hours later police were again called to the location but this time made contact with a witness who stated that four suspects had thrown a “bomb” at her. The witness also advised police that these same suspects were responsible for throwing explosive fireworks at police earlier. The witness also identified by name the suspects and directed officers to the location of one.
Police arrested John McNealy, 44, of 427 S. Stewart Street #92, and charged him with assault on a law enforcement officer, throwing and discharging a destructive device and resisting officers without violence. McNealy was taken to the Gadsden County Jail.
Ironically QPD Officers were the victims of a similar type assault last year on July 4th at this exact apartment complex. One officer was hospitalized last year and suffered minor hearing loss after a large explosive device was thrown at him and detonated next to him. It is unclear at this time if this arrestee was involved in last year’s case.
Police are still looking for several other suspects and this case is still under investigation. Anyone with information about this case is asked to contact the Quincy Police Department at 850-627-7111.