DA: 'Zero tolerance' for celebratory gunfire

District Attorney Seth Williams and Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey warned people Friday morning not to be idiots by shooting guns in the air to celebrate New Year's Eve.

Joining them at a news conference was Joe Jaskolka, 24, who was 11 when he was struck in the head by a bullet in South Philly. The bullet is still lodged in Jaskolka's head, and he remains in a wheelchair.

Williams said authorities will have "zero tolerance" for anyone shooting off a gun to bring in the New Year.

Jaskolka, of North Wilmington, said he is working on a book, to be finished in a year or two, about his life and what happened to him about 12:05 a.m. Jan. 1, 1999.

At that time, he and family members were walking on Fernon Street near Second and heading to see the fireworks at Penn's Landing when a bullet, allegedly fired by someone celebrating the New Year, struck him in the head.

His assailant has never been caught.

Since then, Jaskolka has undergone 33 surgeries to his brain and 21 to his eyes, Williams said.

Ramsey said while the message about not shooting guns to celebrate the New Year is put forth each year, there are still people who commit the stupid act.

Police will be out in force this weekend to watch out for people with guns, and to also man extra DUI checkpoints, Ramsey said.