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SANTA ANA : Celebrators Asked Not to Shoot in Air

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The Police Department is urging residents caught up in the celebratory spirit of Cinco de Mayo to refrain from expressing their festive mood by firing shots into the air.

“Shooting guns in the air is dangerous and illegal and will not be tolerated,” Santa Ana Police Chief Paul M. Walters said. “We want everyone to enjoy a most safe holiday, and we are asking for your help to make it so.”

Cinco de Mayo, which is Sunday, is fast becoming as popular a time for shooting live rounds into the sky as New Year’s Eve, according to Santa Ana police spokeswoman Maureen Haacker said.

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“It’s getting to be a real problem,” she added.

Cinco de Mayo, which commemorates the Mexican uprising against a French expeditionary force during the Battle of Puebla, is one of the most popular holidays of the year in this largely Latino city.

During last year’s Cinco de Mayo celebrations, there were 42 reports of shots fired in the air, Haacker said. Although the problem is not as serious as New Year’s Eve--235 reports of shots were filed last year--it is now considered one of five holidays that are the most troublesome.

The other holidays are Mexican Independence Day on Sept. 16, the Fourth of July and Christmas Eve.

Haacker said residents of mobile home parks are particularly in danger because the falling bullets easily puncture the thin roofs.

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