A 7-year-old boy was injured Monday when he got caught in the crossfire of a fireworks duel between two teenagers in San Bernardino. Two 18-year-olds involved in the incident were arrested by police. Jacob Rascon reports from the Inland Empire for NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on July 3, 2012.
Empty lighters and scorched firecracker casings are all that's left of what neighbors say are outrageous late-night fireworks shows in their San Bernardino neighborhood.
But after midnight on Monday, the "show" got dangerous when police say a 7-year-old got caught in a fight involving Roman Candle, which are illegal in California.
Both the boy and his father told their story to NBC4, but neither wanted to be identified.
"We were supposed to be just shooting them in the air, but for fun," according to the boy. "My friend, he said that we could shoot 'em at each other. He shot it, it bounced off the wall and then it fell on me."
"Kids will be kids, you know," according to the boy's father, who doesn't blame the teenagers whose fireworks sent his son to the hospital.
"When I was a kid, we used to blow things up way worse than that," said the father.
The boy showed the reddened skin on his inner elbow, saying it "didn't hurt" when he got hit.
"I just put some Neosporin on it and it's fine," the father said.
Deputies arrested two 18-year-olds on suspicion of child endangerment in this case, and they may face fines of at least $500 for using the illegal fireworks.
Neighbors blame the parents for this kind of horseplay.
"Everybody just has to really, really look out for these kids, and make sure they're safe," says neighbor Brenda Smith.