SANTA ANA (CBSLA) — A Santa Ana man was charged Monday in connection with a Fourth of July fireworks explosion in Garden Grove that injured several people.
Frank Lazcano Lopez, 46, has been charged with two felony counts of explosion causing mayhem and great bodily injury, one felony count of explosion of a destructive device causing bodily injury and one felony count of dissuading a witness by force or threat.
According to prosecutors, Garden Grove police were called to Rosita Place and San Juan Place just after 11 p.m. on July 4 for reports of a large explosion that injured several people, including young children, watching fireworks. Several people were rushed to area hospitals to be treated for their injuries, including two brothers, ages 4 and 8, who suffered burns to their corneas. The 8-year-old also suffered second-degree burns around his eye. The explosion also caused significant damage to several nearby cars.
Lopez is not only accused of igniting the fireworks, but also threatening a witness in hopes of forcing him to delete photos of the damages caused by the explosion.
"The injuries suffered by these innocent children were completely preventable," Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said. "Every year, law enforcement and fire officials warn the public about the dangers of illegal fireworks — and every year people suffer injuries they should never have suffered if they had listened to our warnings.
"This time it is very young children who were forced to suffer the very real and very painful effects of illegal fireworks," Spitzer continued. "And children should never have to suffer as a result of the irresponsible acts of an adult."
Lopez, who was arrested Thursday, was being held Monday at the Theo Lacy Facility on $1 million bail. He is expected in court July 28. If convicted as charged, he faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.
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