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Area police rack up arrests over Fourth of July holiday

Area police rack up arrests over Fourth of July holiday
Illegal fireworks seized recently by the Costa Mesa Police Department sit in the bed of a truck. The department said Thursday that information about its Fourth of July-related arrests, citations and fireworks enforcement is still being compiled. (Courtesy of Costa Mesa Police Department)

Dozens of people had brushes with the law over the Fourth of July holiday in Huntington Beach, Newport Beach and Laguna Beach, authorities said Thursday.

Huntington Beach police arrested 33 people between 12:55 a.m. and 11:55 p.m. Wednesday, Independence Day, mostly for alcohol-related offenses, according to data compiled by the Police Department.

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Huntington police also had seized 200 pounds of illegal fireworks as of Tuesday. Spokeswoman Angela Bennett said the total number of fireworks-related citations and illegal fireworks seized during the holiday period will be compiled next week.

The city allows the private sale and use of fireworks the state considers “safe and sane” but prohibits those that leave the ground or explode in the air, such as cherry bombs, bottle rockets, firecrackers and aerial shells.

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In Newport Beach, officers made 82 arrests between 6 p.m. Tuesday and 6 a.m. Thursday, according to spokeswoman Jennifer Manzella. Offenses included public drunkenness and fighting.

Police responded to 70 calls about illegal fireworks during that period and recorded five citations and arrests. Newport doesn’t allow private fireworks of any kind.

Newport is continuing saturation patrols targeting impaired driving through Sunday. Police will have additional officers out between 6 p.m. and 3 a.m. daily in areas with high numbers of crashes and arrests linked to driving under the influence.

Laguna Beach police Sgt. Jim Cota said officers arrested four people Wednesday on suspicion of public drunkenness, four on suspicion of DUI and one suspected of possessing a stolen vehicle. Officers gave no citations for illegal fireworks, “just educational lectures,” Cota said. Laguna Beach also doesn’t allow private fireworks.

Costa Mesa Police Department spokeswoman Roxi Fyad said information about Fourth of July-related arrests, citations and fireworks enforcement is still being compiled.

Fountain Valley police did not return messages seeking comment Thursday.

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