Florida man struck by stray bullet during fireworks show

Richard Smeraldo describes the path a bullet took that hit him Wednesday while he was watching fireworks in Clearwater on Thursday, July 5, 2012. Smeraldo, 74, of Clearwater, was watching the fireworks by the Safety Harbor Marina with his wife and friends when he felt something hit him in the face. (AP Photo/The Tampa Bay Times, Jim Damaske)

Richard Smeraldo describes the path a bullet took that hit him Wednesday while he was watching fireworks in Clearwater on Thursday, July 5, 2012. Smeraldo, 74, of Clearwater, was watching the fireworks by the Safety Harbor Marina with his wife and friends when he felt something hit him in the face. (AP Photo/The Tampa Bay Times, Jim Damaske)

SAFETY HARBOR, Fla. — A man watching fireworks was injured when a falling bullet pierced the bill of his baseball cap and hit his face.

Richard Smeraldo, 74, of Clearwater, was struck while watching fireworks Wednesday and treated at an area hospital.

Pinellas County Sheriff's officers say Smeraldo initially thought he was hit by a rock. A bullet was found on the blanket where they were seated.

The bullet traveled through the bill of Smeraldo's cap, into the bridge of his nose, out his right nostril, through the upper portion of his bottom lip and exited though his lower chin.

The bullet then struck a metal medallion Smeraldo was wearing on a chain around his neck, bounced off the back of his friend and fell onto the blanket.

Deputies are investigating.

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