Fourth of July revelers peppered Santa Ana police and firefighters with fireworks during a two-hour struggle that lingered into early Thursday.
Police were called to an apartment complex in the 700 block of South Lyon Street about 10:30 p.m. Wednesday, Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna said.
One call involved two male suspects with a handgun, and the other was regarding a 17-year-old who was injured while holding a firework, Bertagna said.
“This is a complex where they’re all connected and they’re doing lots of fireworks, so when officers got there they were trying to deal with both calls at one time and the crowd — mainly kids and young adults — started firing mortars and bottle rockets at fire and police personnel,” Bertagna said. “One of the mortars hit an officer in the gun belt, but he was able to swipe it away near his vehicle and the explosion disabled the car.”
Police spent two hours trying to restrain the crowd, Bertagna said.
Two people were arrested on suspicion of public intoxication, but no arrests have been made regarding the attacks on police and fire officials, Bertagna said. Police are combing through surveillance and body-worn camera video to see if they can identify suspects, he added.
As for the call of the two males armed with a handgun, Bertagna said, “We didn’t get that far — we had to deal with the crowd.”
The 17-year-old was holding a “rocket launcher” firework that “split” open his hand between the thumb and index finger, according to Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Tony Bommarito. The teen was taken to OC Global Medical Center, but there was no immediate update on his condition, Bommarito said.