A man is facing several felony charges after setting off illegal Fourth of July fireworks and causing an explosion in Garden Grove, leaving bystanders with burns to their faces and scalps, prosecutors said Monday.
Among those rushed to the hospital after 46-year-old Frank Lazcano Lopez of Santa Ana allegedly sparked the explosion were a 4-year-old and an 8-year-old with burned corneas. The older child also suffered second-degree burns around his eye, according to a news release from the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.
Seven others, many of them children, were hurt in the explosion, which also shattered an apartment complex’s windows and caused significant damage to cars in the area of Rosita Place and San Juan Place, officials said.
“The injuries suffered by these innocent children were completely preventable,” O.C. District Attorney Todd Spitzer said in a statement.
Lopez is accused of lighting the fireworks around 11 p.m. on July 4 and threatening a bystander in an attempt to get him to delete pictures of the destruction the explosion caused.
He was arrested by police last Thursday and subsequently 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.
He could face up to life in prison if he’s convicted on all four counts, the DA’s office said.
Lopez remained in custody Tuesday night on $1 million bail, inmate records showed.