$642 ticket for Easter celebration fireworks in Montreal backyard

Celebrating Easter this past Sunday got a Montreal man a $642 ticket for having fireworks set off at his home in the Plateau Mont-Royal.

"We've done it every Easter since I was a kid," said Jimmy Makrygiannis, adding it's the first time they got a ticket after someone set off four or five firecrackers in the backyard as they were celebrating at his aunt's house.

Makrygiannis said police showed up, walking right into the fenced-in yard, saying there were noise complaints and asking who was responsible. He said his cousin stepped up and he got the $642 ticket.

"We got mad," said Makrygiannis in an interview with CJAD 800 News.

"There's illegal and there's illegal. This is not one of those end-of-the-world things where anybody got hurt. It's just a little celebration, once a year, it was just a few minutes."

Makrygiannis said he realizes some neighbours may have been startled but that they should have gotten a warning or a less costly ticket.

"642$ is very expensive even though I'm not the one who got the ticket and it's my cousin. I got really upset. He works at Dairy Queen, for god's sake. It's going to take him a very, very long time to pay this ticket even though the whole family said they were going to pitch in," said Makrygiannis.

"It's excessive."

Defence lawyer Steven Slimovitch says police may have to explain themselves about barging into the backyard asking about firecrackers as well as about the burden of proof.

"It's the authorities that will have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he did in fact set the firecracker," said Slimovitch.

"He can easily explain, 'I said I was responsible because i live here. It doesn't mean that everything  in this house is my fault.' "

Police did not yet respond for a request from CJAD 800 News for comment.