Tempe father arrested after firework hits and injures his child

A man was arrested on April 11 for allegedly firing illegal fireworks, one of which misfired and injured his 3-year-old son.

The incident happened in Tempe, near Rural and Baseline Roads, and the suspect in the case, identified as Jason John Davis, is accused of a count of reckless child abuse.

According to investigators, he lit an illegal aerial firework in a parking lot near his apartment. He told police the firework tipped over and struck his son, who was standing about 20 feet away.

Suspect told police he wanted to use up fireworks

While fireworks are heavily restricted in Arizona, and are only allowed to be bought, sold, and used during specific times of the year, Davis was using the fireworks outside of that legal timeframe.

Davis told police he knew the firework was illegal. He said he bought them in New Mexico about one or two months before, and that he wanted to use them up before his family moved next month.

Davis' son was taken to the hospital by his mother. The son had visible first and second degree burns over his right ear, cheek, chin, right arm, legs, and thumb. The other children were uninjured.

Davis is being held on a cash-only appearance bond of $2,500. The man has prior convictions, including trespassing, resisting or interfering with police, disorderly conduct, assault, and aggravated battery.

Neighbor speaks out

Davis' neighbor, Chelsea Anderson, says her son watched it all unfold.

"A neighbor of mine was setting off fireworks for his little boy and for my son," said Chelsea Anderson. "He asked if we minded if Jax went over there to watch the fireworks -- and he made sure. He didn't surprise us. We knew it was happening -- we gave permission."

After the incident, Anderson said Davis was 'extremely apologetic and concerned' for all children.

"Even if the parents or grandparents were upset with him, he just took it all in stride and just kept apologizing, and I let him know I don't hold him responsible, and he has nothing to apologize for."

Anderson called the incident a 'freak accident.'

"I don't see how he could have done it any differently," said Anderson. "It was a freak accident that happened, and for him to be charged with this crime is just absolutely insane to me. He should have been in the emergency room with his son, not talking to police."

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