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TPD responded to 151 fireworks calls but weren’t fast enough for 1 homeowner

Post by Stacey Mulick / The News Tribune on July 5, 2011 at 9:01 am with 49 Comments »
July 5, 2011 9:40 am

FireworksTacoma police officers responded to more than 150 fireworks-related calls Monday night but when they didn’t show up for one East Side homeowner’s complaints, he decided to take action himself.

The homeowner, who lives in the 3500 block of East K Street, became irate over the lack of police response to his fireworks-related complaints about the neighbors, Tacoma police reported.

The homeowner grabbed a BB gun, went outside and told his neighbors he was going to shoot them. Police reported that the homeowner pointed the BB gun at his neighbors and pulled the trigger several times.

The neighbors thought the gun was misfiring. They didn’t realize it was a BB gun.

Officers arrested the homeowner on suspicion of first-degree assault.

Meanwhile, Tacoma police officers working overtime for fireworks-related enforcement responded to 151 calls and complaints from 8 p.m. Monday to 4 a.m. today. All fireworks are illegal in the City of Tacoma and those caught lighting them off face a $257 fine.

Officers wrote 26 citations and confiscated several pounds of illegal fireworks late Monday and early today. The confiscated fireworks were either placed into evidence or fireworks lockers for future disposal.

The Tacoma Police Department’s fireworks enforcement will continue tonight. The department has been putting extra officers on the streets since Thursday to handle the fireworks-related calls.

On Sunday, the officers responded to 114 calls/complaints and issued 12 tickets.

The News Tribune will get the total number of fireworks-related calls, tickets issued and explosives confiscated when the enforcement campaign is over with for the year.

Leave a comment Comments → 49
  1. A B.B. gun?That is really stupid. Some neighbors and I went out with long hoses and soaked the street. We stayed outside with the hoses ready to soak out any fireworks on our street.

  2. Great idea Frida! Wish we could do that in Lakewood. Unfortunately, they are legal in Lakewood. I spend most 4ths sitting in my living room, meditating on what it must be like to live in a war zone, as shells explode around me and rock the furniture. They didn’t even stop at midnight last night, as they normally do. Wish I’d thought of the hose technique. Problem is, my hoses won’t reach two streets over to the big fireworks vendor tent in Lakewood Towne Center, where I think the biggest bombs were set off.

  3. salmonhead says:

    Can’t think of a more enjoyable way to celebrate the holiday than by sitting in my living room complaining and waiting for the noise to stop or standing out in the street spraying people with a hose. Happy Fourth of July!

  4. That is a good way to get yourself shot by someone with a real gun.

  5. Kevindot1 says:

    I am with salmonhead; people need to lighten up a little. It was a spectacular night last night. You should have tried to enjoy it.

  6. I feel bad for people who have fun on July 4th by putting other people’s fireworks out and patrolling with hoses…

  7. c_eatonville says:

    What a miserable existence, how could some one get that wound up to grab what could be mistaken as a real firearm and threaten the neighbors. Come on its one night of the year. For all of you that font like the fireworks and rally together on the premis thatreissued should be illegal I say give us the one night a year to shoot off fireworks. Because, in all fairness we have to listen you all whine and cry about every other social injustice the rest of the year.

  8. Right, because there’s no better way to celebrate the Independence Day of our country than by getting trashed on cheap beer and blowing your arm off with a Chinese invention. This is exactly what the holiday is all about!

  9. anniebryce says:

    We generally don’t mind the noise and the mess. We’ve come to expect it on the 4th. However, when the mess gets all over our vehicles, that’s when I get a little miffed. Part of the “fun” should be cleaning up your mess, but that doesn’t seem to go along with it.

  10. PolarBear53 says:

    “GET OFF MY LAWN” comes to mind

  11. The point is that it’s not just one night. People all around tacoma are setting off fireworks for a week before and after the fourth. They know they shouldn’t but they do it anyway

  12. JessicaW71970 says:

    It’s a really simple fix. Petition the City of Tacoma (aka, Seattle LIGHT) to legalize fireworks but require a $25.00 Annual Fireworks Permit purchaseable on-line with your credit or debit card, part of that permit requires that you are responsible for the mess clean-up when it’s all said and done. The fee of $25.00 is reasonable and would generate a lot more than the $60,000.00 that we just paid the TPD to enforce a law that quite frankly they cannot. How many people actually called the police to complain about the festivities? According to this article, in two days (7/3 & 7/4/2011) there were only 265 calls and how many citations were handed out on those two days? Again according to the article, only 38 tickets… so in general, most citizens of Tacoma enjoy or partake in the 4th of July festivities and there was no possible way the few officers that are on their special patrols could even make it to the complaints…. it’s a joke. The city, if these are accurate numbers, spent $60,000.00 to patrol and enforce, however it has only gained $9,766.00 in fines. I may not be college educated, but that seems like a waste of tax payer’s dollars to me……

  13. PolarBear53 says:

    Jessica – Get off my Lawn.

  14. you can’t surrender to a helicopter. http://www.collateralmurder.com/ happy 4th !

  15. I guess I’m one of those fireworks complainers. I enjoy the 4th as much as anyone else, but the definitive here is the “4th”, not the 2nd, 3rd, or 5th. Also, fireworks used to consist of pretty, safer, and responsible displays. It’s been like the 3rd world war around here. Of course we had the ones that made us ohh and ahh, but the bombs that were set rattled windows, set off car alarms, and scared our animals so bad that we had to give them tranquillizers to calm them. The last one went off about 3:30 am. My alarm went off at 5:30 and I had to let the dog sleep with me to keep her calm. These were being set off inside Spanaway Park all yesterday. Nothing was done to stop them. I can’t help but wonder if the ones setting them off would still consider it fun if they lost their hearing or a limb. I see two things wrong with this picture. 1. If the police answered 265 complaints then why were only 38 fines levied. The law is clear, there are no fireworks within Tacoma city limits. It is what it is, fine those who offend. At $257 per fine that would have been almost $9800. 2. If the Indians would stop selling illegal fireworks that would pretty much put an end to the supply. America belongs to us all. Let’s act like it.

  16. Roncella says:

    mamaD, ther ain’t no way the Indians will be forced to stop selling their fireworks.

    Gregoire and the dems. in olympia get Thousands from the Indian Casino’s profit and the fireworks/smokes shops to filter back to the dems as they run for re-election or first time election.

    mamaD, there is no way that will ever stop. Follow the money.

  17. ibacrafter says:

    What many of you seem to be forgetting is that fireworks are illegal in the City of Tacoma, if you want to have “fun” go into the county or city of Lakewood where they are legal……..the “fun” these scofflaws are having is not fun for me, terrorizes my dogs and endangers everyone (i.e. the 2 houses that burnt down in Kent because of errant fireworks….)
    The supposed extra patrol officers in Tacoma were a total joke….I did call several times and never saw an officer in our area, and the fireworks continued non-stop from Friday morning up to this morning. TPD needs to do like many other police depts and require every officer, including admin and detectives, to work the 4th and finally get a handle on this mess

  18. You should try living in Spana-Graham. They have been blowing stuff up for over a week now, all day, most of every night. The last of the explosions last night were around 1:30 this morning, meaning that when we had to get up for work at 5:00, we got a whole three and a half hours of sleep. It’s great to celebrate this wonderful holiday, but I have no clue as to where these people got all the cash for all the food, booze and fireworks.

  19. SounderSince74 says:

    Kevindot1 – If the 4th had fallen on Sunday, so the holiday day off was observed on the 5th it would have been much easier to enjoy being kept away until 1am, but when I have to be up by 5:30am to go to work then no I am not a happy camper.
    Next year I am not going to make a single complaint call; rather I am going to make one complaint call for every 10 minutes past normal bedtime I am kept awake and bump it up to 1 call for every boom I hear after midnight. Squeeky wheel gets the grease, right?

    Perhaps if TPD gets 1,000 or 2,000 complaint calls in 2012, instead of a measley 150, they will finally start putting more than a dozen officers on the schedule for the night. Make it a mandatory work day for everyone except the few you need for the following day shift.

    (PS I think fireworks should be legal and just the time period regulated but as long as there is a law it should be enforced)

  20. Soundlife says:

    Hard to believe the amount of ignorant people posting here to defend the idiots blasting off illegal fireworks.
    Some of us do not enjoy the “artillery rounds” going off in our front yards at 12:15AM when we have to get up at 3AM for work.
    I for one find no fault with the man with the BB gun.
    He should have brought a real one.
    When the police refuse to do their job, the people have the right to step in.
    With people shooting off illegal fireworks that maim and can kill, he had a
    right to fear for his safety

  21. bcthumphrey says:

    mamad says:
    “If the Indians would stop selling illegal fireworks that would pretty much put an end to the supply. America belongs to us all. Let’s act like it. ”
    Well, mamad, you just said it….America belongs to us all, no matter what nationality you may be…Indian or not.

  22. Skysport says:

    My house was flattened by a firecracker. Make fun of that, mockers…

  23. BlaineCGarver says:

    Soundlife, get a life. Only a loose cannon would threaten the use of a firearm to protest a neighbor’s fireworks…..If you do own guns, I hope they find you and take them away. And yes, I a firm supporter of the 2nd Amendment, and own over 35 weapons. You are dangerous.

  24. salmonhead says:

    weak

  25. TacomaRick says:

    I wish the county would ban them too….I guess I am getting old…just really dont care for it keeping my child up, scaring my pets, and damaging my house as it has in the past. I elected to stay at home and make sure my marijuana growing neighbors who also get disabilty payments from the state for some BS didnt burn down the neighborhood or damage my house again…glad to see my tax dollars at work…the weed business must be good based off all the fireworks they have….oh and they let their young kids light them off…Im shocked somebody hasnt been hurt yet.

  26. itwasntmethistime says:

    It’s too much. Too many days in a row, way too long into the night. Those of us who have to get up for work in the morning are pretty irritated.

    Exhaustion can drive a person nuts so I can see how the BB gun guy could lose it after several nights of lost sleep. Of course what he should have done instead is light firecrackers under the bedroom windows of the offenders every 5 minutes from 5 am until noon.

  27. Soundlife says:

    BlaineGarver you are an idiot and should not be allowed to own any weapons.
    Artillery shells sold illegally are not “fireworks,” and are in fact dangerous weapons.
    You are simply another babbling enabler…

  28. t’s a really simple fix. Petition the City of Tacoma (aka, Seattle LIGHT) to legalize fireworks but require a $25.00 Annual Fireworks Permit purchaseable on-line with your credit or debit card, part of that permit requires that you are responsible for the mess clean-up when it’s all said and done. The fee of $25.00 is reasonable and would generate a lot more than the $60,000.00 that we just paid the TPD to enforce a law that quite frankly they cannot. How many people actually called the police to complain about the festivities? According to this article, in two days (7/3 & 7/4/2011) there were only 265 calls and how many citations were handed out on those two days? Again according to the article, only 38 tickets… so in general, most citizens of Tacoma enjoy or partake in the 4th of July festivities and there was no possible way the few officers that are on their special patrols could even make it to the complaints…. it’s a joke. The city, if these are accurate numbers, spent $60,000.00 to patrol and enforce, however it has only gained $9,766.00 in fines. I may not be college educated, but that seems like a waste of tax payer’s dollars to me……

    Read more: http://blog.thenewstribune.com/crime/2011/07/05/tpd-responded-to-151-fireworks-calls-but-werent-fast-enough-for-1-homeowner/#ixzz1RH7tIj2D

  29. steilacoomtaxpayer says:

    Happy to report zero problems in Steilacoom where it is illegal to own or use fireworks. The Town has a show on the water and that is it. Great results with the new law and our law abiding citizens.

  30. royboy361 says:

    I always threatened to go through the neighborhood at 6 am while I’m on my way to work and honk my horn. If they can keep me up all night I should only return the favor.

  31. BlaineCGarver says:

    Soundlife, I say again, get a life and stop being so self centered. Get some anger management help, too. That fixation on shooting people is going to get you in trouble. As a matter of fact, I’ve brought your portion of this blog to the LEO’s attention. You need help.

  32. klthompson says:

    Wow! I would have a real problem if some guy pointed a bb gun at me and was stupid enough to pull the trigger. I have a .38 and a license to carry. Would I have returned fire? I had many weeks of training in Miltary Police school and I don’t think that I would have been tempted to return fire without knowing what kind of weapon I was facing. On the other hand folks, don’t be stupid enough to think the other guy is bright enough to know the threat isn’t real.

  33. KARDNOS says:

    “Roncella says:
    July 5, 2011 at 12:41 pm
    mamaD, ther ain’t no way the Indians will be forced to stop selling their fireworks.

    Gregoire and the dems. in olympia get Thousands from the Indian Casino’s profit and the fireworks/smokes shops to filter back to the dems as they run for re-election or first time election.

    mamaD, there is no way that will ever stop. Follow the money.”

    Ah yes…blame the Governor for all those white people that flock to the Native American reservations to blow their money……

    If you don’t want Native Americans to sell fireworks, don’t spend your money there.

    Let the free market reign!!!!

  34. KARDNOS says:

    klthompson – the homeowner should have owned a bazooka.

  35. Objective says:

    Just one more reason why Tacoma is such a DEPRESSING place to live. Fireworks illegal, it smells etc etc.

  36. cclngthr says:

    A lot of people are hypersensitive to sound at specific frequencies and the booming creates problems. People with Autism Spectrum Disorders have ACUTE hearing and specific frequency sounds aggrivates them. Other people also have acute hearing and the loud booming is bothersome.

    I used to tolerate the booming, but as I age, I no longer can withstand the excess noise. I think the 4th celebrations should be curbed.

  37. drkracker151 says:

    Listen to all these old people whining about kids and fireworks. Your telling me you didn’t like lighting fireworks when you were kids? Once it’s not fun for you anymore you don’t want anything to do with it. I hope the next time you go for the phone to report some kid celebrating our independance lighting off fireworks you fall and break a hip.

  38. PolarBear53 says:

    BOOM!

  39. bobcougar says:

    I have no problem with any of the fireworks except…
    The mortars and concussion bombs between the hours of midnight and 4 am just suck.

    At some point you need to think of others….

  40. Lefty Washington says:

    The police in T-Town are the good old Nazi’s they’ve always been

  41. johnnywombat says:

    I made sure all the critters were in the house by dusk, lit the tiki’s and then just let it happen. Sometimes you just have to go with the flow. It wasn’t that bad, and was actually pretty. But that was just my experience.

    Thankfully, it’s not too bad around here anymore now that a notorious neighbor has moved on (foreclosure CAN be a good thing…)

  42. Bah. Darwin was cheated out of a candidate for his annual awards.

    Sometimes, people forget that they’re not the only ones who have opinions. Sure, the night 4th is typically loud and sleepless, but it only happens once a year. People need to lighten up; its supposed to be fun. But if you don’t set off all the ordnance you bought, save it for next year; some of us have to be at work in the AM.

    That being said, even if you have a flat full of frat boys across the street setting them off, being a crotchety old man is one thing, but once you start firing a BB gun at folks, you’re escalating that by a factor of about a million. He’s lucky the cops didn’t show up in the middle of his assault; this headline may have ended up reading very, very differently.

  43. commoncents says:

    We wrapped ours up at 10:00 pm with half dozen mortar shells unused. Unfortunately the neighbors weren’t so considerate and were still at it at 1:00 am. Have to say that work was not a lot of fun yesterday. And DrKracker – what is being used today is NOTHING like we had when we were kids. What we had growing up is the opening act to wow the 3-5 year olds.

  44. WarmNfuzziOne says:

    What is wrong with everyone?

    The 4th is about grilling and BBQ’ing.

    That’s the problem, utterly, completely wrong focus.

    Man, I made some ribs…

  45. Just a post script~ no where in my post did I say we need to ‘force’ the tribes to stop selling fireworks. If they were to willingly stop selling them, most of the supply would be gone. There comes a time when we have to choose what’s best for the general population. Free enterprise helped make this country what it is, but not every business is a good fit.

  46. thebestofthebest says:

    What this guy did was obviously wrong. What were the people doing with the fireworks? Were they using his home for target practice? We don’t know? The article appeared to be somewhat one-sided. The guy may be just wrapped too tight. Fireworks are illegal in Tacoma, right? Were the people shooting them off issued a ticket? The article doesn’t say.

  47. letsworkitout says:

    I am noticing a trend….I’ve seen this on other threads including this one:

    “I’m getting older and it bothers me now…”

    Really? Now that is perhaps one of the more self centered comments I’ve seen.

  48. esther414c says:

    I enjoyed fireworks in my younger days & still do. I let others spend their money on them now & I just watch. However, I do have to say that some folks need to learn some basic common courtesies with regards to the celebration. First, please tone it down after midnight. Set off the louder stuff earlier & you’ll have fun & those of us who have to get up at 4:00 won’t be quite as grumpy as we were this year after hearing the booms go on until 3:30 am. Makes for a rough work day & an even rougher commute. Second, please clean up the mess when you’re finished. That’s just plain common courtesy. If you’re considerate of your neighbors, they’ll be more likely to respond in kind.

  49. papasan says:

    I can relate to the man with the BB Gun. I don’t agree with his actions, but I understand. I’m a Veteran with PTSD and I’ve come to HATE this holiday. Every loud explosion sends me to the floor. By 7PM on the 4th, I was a wreck. I called TPD twice. The second time, there was no response. They didn’t even answer the phone. I was BEYOND frustrated, took twice my usual dose of pills and still didn’t sleep, or rest.
    Get some of those cops off their butts on Ruston Way, get them into the neighborhoods and enforce the law! 140 calls and 12 tickets?? If the law is going to be a farce, then don’t have the law.

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