Press release from the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office:
On Tuesday, at approximately 10:30 p.m. , two Humboldt County Sheriff's Deputies saw and heard several large commercial grade fireworks being launched in the area of Sutter Road and Central Avenue, McKinleyville. About the same time, the Sheriff's Office Dispatch Center received several 911 calls regarding at least five aerial type fireworks being launched in the same area. As the deputies were checking the area for the source of the fireworks, a 911 call was received about a man being injured in the 1600 block of Hideway Court, McKinleyville by a mortar type firework blowing up, and medical was requested. The deputies, an ambulance and the Arcata Fire Department responded to the residence. When the deputies arrived, they saw a 29-year-old Arcata man holding his left hand in a towel. The towel and his clothing were drenched in blood. The man told deputies he was holding the firework when it suddenly exploded. The man had been pointing the firework off the back deck of the residence towards the dry grass in a field behind the residence, when the explosion happened.
Medical personnel transported the man to a local hospital for treatment. Deputies spoke with the 38-year-old male homeowner, who told the deputies the fireworks were his and they had all been discharged. Deputies located the failed mortar tube on the back deck of the residence. One of the deputies who responded is on the Sheriff's Office Bomb Squad. The deputy determined the firework exploded in the tube and failed to launch.
The case is being forwarded to the Humboldt County District Attorney's Office requesting charges of possession of commercial grade fireworks without a permit, and unlawful discharge of fireworks. Both charges are misdemeanors.
The injured 29 year old male was flown to an out of area hospital due to the nature of his injuries.
Anyone with information for the Sheriffs Office regarding this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Sheriffs Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriffs Office Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539.