OCEANSIDE - An Oceanside man was arrested on the Fourth of July after police say he was found with hundreds of illegal fireworks.
Police were called to West Henrietta Avenue at around 7 p.m. after receiving complaints for fireworks violations. Officers say they found 29-year-old Joseph Tullo in front of his home, wiring mortar tube racks in the street.
Authorities say there were 539 mortar tubes set up, loaded with shells. There were 91 assorted cakes on the grass nearby, police say.
Tullo was charged with storage of explosives. He was released without bail following his arraignment in court Sunday.
Tullo's lawyer says his client is a licensed electrician and a licensed pyrotechnician who formerly worked for the Grucci family, which is famous for its fireworks.
One neighbor says he was relieved to hear of the arrest. "These were huge explosives," Michael Berger said. "I've never seen anything like it in my life. It was terrifying... You want to have fireworks like this, get a permit, go to the park, set them off at the beach, some place safely. Not in the neighborhood."
But some on the block believe Tullo's arrest was unfair. They say plenty of other people were setting off fireworks in the neighborhood. One neighbor termed it an injustice and described Tullo as a "sweetheart."