SANTA ANA (CBSLA.com) — July 4th in some parts of Santa Ana felt more like a war zone than a family-friendly celebration.
Illegal mortars and rockets were fired all night across streets aiming at people and cars.
Cell phone video shot from the roof of the police department captured dozens of explosions. Lights in the sky looked like professionally choreographed fireworks shows, but were in fact illegal. Lawbreakers in one neighborhood after the next were shooting off flaming projectiles.
Between 8 p.m. and 2 a.m. more than 5,700 illegal fireworks in Santa Ana were seized. Almost 400 calls came in to police about dangerous fireworks and 16 people were arrested, each slapped with a $1,000 fine.
Officers confiscated thousands of pounds of explosives with catchy names like Alien and Party in the USA.
Safe and Sane fireworks are legal in Santa Ana but none used Tuesday night fell into that category.