BAZETTA - A veteran mounted Trumbull County Sheriff's deputy remained at St. Joseph Health Center in Warren on Sunday after illegal fireworks caused his horse to eject him, causing serious injuries while providing security at the Trumbull County Fairgrounds.
Felony charges will likely be filed today in Trumbull County Central District Court against the man who ran the Broken Horn Rodeo show Friday. He set off illegal fireworks during the show, sheriff's detective Rick Tackett said.
Tackett said he would meet with prosecutors to decide what charges could be filed, including illegally possessing fireworks and setting off fireworks without a license, both felonies.
Maj. Doug Firster said Allen Smith of Orangeville, a 45-year mounted deputy providing security at the fair, suffered a punctured lung, two broken ribs and a broken shoulder after he was thrown from the horse.
Tackett said Smith, 76, was optimistic he would be discharged Sunday, but Firster said Smith encountered problems with his punctured lung.
''He's a die-hard,'' Tackett said. ''He's been a mounted deputy for 40-some years, and he's always at the fair. He even wanted to go back today for the last day.''
Firster said Bazetta fire Chief Dennis Lewis told the show's director that he was not allowed to discharge fireworks.
Tacket said the man admitted to him that he uses the fireworks for the Fourth of July program. Only a few were lit, Tackett said.
''He's going to be facing the charges, not because Deputy Smith was injured,'' Tackett said. ''It's based on fireworks and that he has no license to do it.''