The City and County of San Francisco is full of snitches 1,114 of them to be exact.
The San Francisco Examiner reports that the number of calls to the city's non-emergency hotline complaining about illegal 4th of July fireworks doubled this year, from 522 in 2016 to 1,114 on Tuesday. Just a sign of the times in New San Francisco?
Most longtime residents are aware that their neighbors might explode a few pyrotechnics every Independence Day weekend, but some claim that this year was out of control.
"It is the first time we have contacted the police about this in the past 20 years because it was that bad and I can't believe law enforcement personnel wasn't aware what was going on," Excelsior District resident Di Stangl told the Ex.
Residents were asked to call the non-emergency line to report illegal fireworks so as not to tie-up 911 dispatchers dealing with actual emergencies. But the non-emergency line got so backed-up that very few people got through and when they did, reportedly, no one really did anything about it. "Police officers will respond to those calls, but it will be determined by headquarters if it happens to be lower on the priority compared to the queue of other calls," said SFPD spokesperson Officer Robert Rueca.
Meanwhile, between 7 p.m. and midnight on the 4th of July, 911 got 694 calls for service, including many reports of "shots fired" which could have been fireworks. Or it could have been calls similar to this story of a Newark, CA resident who blew his hand off with illegal explosives.
An 18-year-old man was putting a mortar into a tube when an explosion occurred, blowing away part of the his hand and leaving the teen with life-threatening injuries according to a report from SFGate. The teen was rushed to a nearby hospital and is expected to survive.
Newark apparently allows folks to play with fireworks as long as they are "safe and sane," which sounds awfully subjective. "It was a mortar round, definitely illegal, not safe and sane," said Newark Police Capt. Chomnan Loth.
KTVU says that the victim lost "most of his fingers."
Charges will not be filed against the teenager. "He has to adapt now to you know being handicapped in a way. So it's real important for kids to know the consequences of playing with illegal fireworks," neighbor Ricardo Myers told KTVU.