Postal Worker Assaulted With Fireworks Opposes Governor’s Legalization

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URBANDALE, Iowa  --  It seems like a simple piece of "ignorance and fireworks don't mix."

Urbandale postal worker Ben Allen said he has become a visual example of how devastating fireworks can be when in the wrong hands.

"It's impaired my eye. It is no longer moving freely and no vision whatsoever," he said.

In March, Ben was on his normal mail delivery route in Urbandale. "66th and Roseland. It was right there on the corner," Ben remembers vividly.

That's when several young adults hurled fireworks at his face. He said, "All there was, was a very loud bang and then nothing. This ear was ringing."

Two of the suspects have been arrested after a prank with lifelong consequences.

"I don't know if I'll ever work for the post office in the same manner. It hurts," said Ben.

Now, with most fireworks legal in the state of Iowa, Ben hopes his story can help the city of Urbandale proceed with caution.

"This is not a good law. It should be left up to the professionals."

Despite Governor Branstad's Tuesday bill signing, Ben hopes cities take advantage of still being able to impose city ordinances banning fireworks. He said, "This moment may be fun, but it will impact somebody and it could even be worse than this. It could be death."

On Tuesday night, the Urbandale City Council members unanimously voted to ban fireworks from being shot off by residents within city limits.

Ben plans on having a surgical consultation on Thursday in Iowa City with the hope having sight in his left eye once again.


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