SANDUSKY, Ohio (WJW) — Sandusky police say they have responded to numerous complaints in recent days of backyard fireworks at all hours of the night keeping residents awake and bothering their pets.
Sandusky Police Chief John Orzech says the problem is not in just one neighborhood.
“Fourth of July we anticipate it,” Orzech says. “It’s just we are two weeks away and it’s every night they are starting it. We are trying to get it calmed down so that the folks can sleep at night and not be bothered.”
His department responded to eight complaints on Monday and numerous other complaints over the weekend.
The concerns are the same as in many other communities across Northeast Ohio.
“The biggest concern is people are trying to sleep at night and so a lot of this activity, the fireworks and all of that, you want to see it in the sky, so it’s always at night time.” says Orzech.
Many of the classes of fireworks that are being set off in area backyards are illegal to use in Ohio.
Orzech’s department is making arrests when possible but he says it is difficult to prove who is responsible, even if there is a group of people at the scene when they are detonated.
“It’s hard to reiterate to the people who are complaining that these people are lighting them and running or they are in a car leaving or in a back yard and could go a block or two blocks away from the source,” Orzech says. “So it’s very challenging trying to find out where [fireworks are], and then locate people.”
Orzech says they’ve arrested two people so far.
“We are working on a third one over the last two weeks, so if we catch somebody in the act or get witnesses that identify somebody, we will make an arrest,” he says. “It’s a misdemeanor in the first degree.”
Orzech says he has increased patrols in some of the neighborhoods with officers in unmarked cars hoping to catch the offenders in the act.
Residents like Kathy Rider are desparate for some relief. She tells Fox 8 News that the fireworks are going off continually in her neighborhood and that is impacting her rescue dog.
Bryson Sanridge says the constant “booms” through the night keep his daughter up.
“Just loud back to back to back, come out the blue,” Sanridge says.
Many, like Frank Erckman, say they don’t mind the fireworks and object to those who are calling police.
“It’s all over … but, you know, we can’t do nothing outside because of the virus. They don’t let you go to Cedar Point, no fairs. Kids are in the house going crazy, so parents get them fireworks and let them go outside and have fun a little bit,” says Erckman.
Orzech realizes there is little even the police can do to stop people from using the backyard variety of fireworks, he would just like those who are using them to do so in a safe and considerate way for their neighbors.