Across the Area

July 4: the loud, the bright and the weird

THE TRAILER police say was used to launch illegal fireworks in Garden Grove on July 4 (GGPD photo).

The rockets’ red glare and bombs bursting in air – the bad kind – are over. Mostly.

The July 4th holiday lit up the sky, with much of the spectacular displays from illegal fireworks. It let to numerous arrests, but no fires attributed locally to the stuff on the Fourth.

There was one unusual instance in Garden Grove. According to Lt. Carl Whitney of the Garden Grove Police Department, 37 officers were deployed on fireworks watch. Over 200 calls were received about illegal fireworks, and 71 citations issued, each for $1000.


The most brazen example of the prohibition of unlawful pyrotechnics occurred in the area of Acacia and Jackson. David Lee Turner, 51, of Garden Grove was arrested for possession of explosives without a permit and for discharging illegal fireworks.

But he didn’t earn his arrest for cleverly launching his pyrotechnics from behind a wall or with other concealment. According to Lt. Whitney, he was riding a mini-bike down the street, towing a trailer from which mortars blasted fireworks into the sky using an electronic ignition device.

The suspect was spotted by officers in an unmarked vehicle and allegedly tried to flee on his bike but was eventually stopped and arrested. The Orange County Bomb Squad was called to disarm the trailer. Turner was booked into Orange County Jail in Santa Ana.

Westminster police reported “several arrests” for illegal fireworks and the confiscation of hundreds of pounds of those materials.

In Huntington Beach, huge crowds showed up at the pier to watch a spectacular – and legal – show of explosives, following a day that included the 114th annual 4th of July parade.

A HUGE crowd showed up at Main Street and Pacific Coast Highway on July 4 to see the fireworks show at the Huntington Beach Pier (HBPD photo).

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