By Neil H. Dempsey
---- — SALEM — Police say a 25-year-old local man had the misfortune to be the only person arrested for lighting fireworks this Fourth of July in Salem, Peabody, Beverly, Danvers, Boxford, Topsfield, Middleton, Hamilton, Wenham, Ipswich, Marblehead or Swampscott.
Justin C. Rose, of 61 Ord St., was arrested on charges of disorderly conduct, disturbing the peace and possession of exploding fireworks.
As usual for the holiday week, police throughout the region responded to scores of calls — perhaps hundreds — regarding illegal fireworks, most between Wednesday and yesterday mornings. Almost invariably, everything would be quiet at the scene of the crime by the time officers got there.
The only call to result in somebody’s arrest for possession of fireworks came at 12:18 a.m. yesterday and directed police to Collins Cove, according to the incident log. It was the fourth report of fireworks the department had responded to since midnight, and the second one in that general area.
Lt. Scott Englehardt said the two officers were already on scene for another fireworks complaint when they saw more being lit nearby. One of the officers walked up with his flashlight and spied Rose bent over and lighting a fresh round of ground-based pyrotechnics.
“He walked up right behind him,” Englehardt said. He added that in order for a person to be arrested for disturbing the peace based on fireworks, the fireworks have to actually be used in the presence of an officer, a reason why such arrests are so rare.
The group of people with Rose saw the officers approaching and ran from the scene, Englehardt said.
Rose was arrested, booked at the station and later released on personal recognizance.
Salem police responded to five more fireworks-related calls before 1 a.m.