Tustin shopping center: 1 arrested after setting off ‘mortar-type firework’

TUSTIN, Calif. (AP) — A man was arrested Tuesday after allegedly setting off a homemade firework near a Southern California shopping center, police said.

Reports of an explosion at The Village at Tustin Legacy prompted authorities to evacuate several businesses, including Chipotle, said Eric Davidson, a spokesperson for Regency Centers, which owns and operates The Village. There were no injuries and there was no damage to the shopping mall.

Tustin Police Lt. Matt Nunley said a 30-year-old man was detained after a witness reported smoke and someone walking away from the scene.

The man was cited for three misdemeanor health and safety code violations related to the firework, and then released, the Orange County Register reported.

The firework was tube-shaped and looked potentially like a pipe bomb, Nunley said. Investigators believe it was an isolated incident, he said.

The Orange County Fire Authority said it responded to a “suspicious package.” The FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office also responded, which it does as a matter of routine for reported explosions, spokesperson Laura Eimiller said.

The shopping center includes restaurants, salons and gyms. Tustin is more than 30 miles (48.28 km) southeast of downtown Los Angeles.