Police / Fire

Law enforcement responds to fires and illegal fireworks over Fourth of July weekend

Several agencies see an uptick in citations.

The Hollister Police Department, along with the Hollister Fire Department, city code enforcement and animal control issued several citations for illegal fireworks over the Fourth of July weekend.

According to a July 8 release, code enforcement and animal control have been patrolling the city looking for anyone using or in possession of any illegal fireworks. Over the weekend, police said they received approximately 107 calls regarding illegal and aerial fireworks, which create hazards such as loud noises and fires that not only affect residents, but pets as well. Police also reported that several pets escaped their homes or yards and were taken to the shelter.

David Anderson, public service officer for HPD, told BenitoLink that there seemed to be an increase in fireworks this year. He could not speak to whether that was because this year’s holiday fell on a Saturday—last year it was a Thursday—or if other factors were involved, such as the effects related to the pandemic and that there were no public fireworks shows nearby. Based on the numbers provided, citations were up approximately 150% from last year.

Officers were deployed in unmarked cars on the nights of July 3 and 4 in an effort to locate and capture offenders. Thirty-two citations were issued for fireworks and several loads of illegal fireworks were seized.

Anderson provided the following information about Fourth of July holiday citations:

  • Citations—44 in 2020, 16 in 2019
  • Bookings—7 in 2020, 7 in 2019
  • Robberies—0 in 2020, 2 in 2019
  • Thefts—0 in 2020, 1 in 2019
  • Traffic Collisions—0 in 2020, 1 in 2019
  • Assault—1 in 2020, 0 in 2019
  • DUI—1 in 2020, 0 in 2019

Hollister Fire Department responded to nine fires from fireworks-related incidents. There were four instances over the weekend where there was no fire service coverage available, even with extra staffing for the holiday. 

Hollister police will use technology to assist in future operations to locate and capture offenders, the release said. The department points out that fines start at $1,000 and can increase up to $2,000 or more for repeated offenses. Violators could also face misdemeanor or felony criminal charges, which can include fines and jail time.

Below is a list of streets where citations were issued from Hollister Police Department:

200 Block of Lassen Ct. (3 citations)
200 block of Graf Rd.
Park Hill
2100 block of Highland Dr. (2 citations)
200 Block of Mariposa St.
100 block of Line St.
200 block of Madera Court
300 Block of Rustic St.
1300 Block of Bonnie View Dr.
Peach Lane
1200 block Marille Lane
1300 block of Trente Ct.
900 block of Powell St.
1000 block of Sally St.
2200 block of Ventana Ct.
1200 block of Nez Perce Dr.
300 block of Eastview Ct.
Promise Way
00 block of Eastview Dr.
500 block of Honeysuckle Way
Browns Alley
500 block of Powell St.
500 block of Lavender Way
1100 block of Apricot Lane
1200 block of Tamara Ct.
Gia Court (2 Citations)
1200 block of Morningside Cr.
1200 block of Scenic Circle

Carmel de Bertaut

Carmel has a BA in Natural Sciences/Biodiversity Stewardship from San Jose State University and an AA in Communications Studies from West Valley Community College. She reports on science and the environment, arts and human interest pieces. Carmel has worked in the ecological and communication fields and is an avid creative writer and hiker. She has been reporting for BenitoLink since May, 2018 and covers Science and the Environment and Arts and Culture.