The July 4 holiday was a return to almost normal activity for police officers and firefighters who said tourist hubs were busy but total calls into the emergency services were on par with years past.

Local hotels were at or above 90 percent capacity over the weekend and areas along Main Street, Downtown and the beach had significant visitor traffic.

While overall call numbers were about average, several serious incidents occurred in the area.

On Friday, a homeless man identified as Preston Rochon, accosted a couple in a downtown parking garage and threatened to assault the female victim. When the male victim intervened, Rochon was able to steal their vehicle and he backed over the male victim causing life-threatening injuries. Rouchon then crashed the car into barricades near the Pier and was arrested.

Two shootings also occurred just outside city limits over the weekend with an LAPD investigation ending near Lincoln/Colorado and the Sheriff’s Department handling a case at PCH/Temescal.

“As you are well aware, 4th of July weekend in Santa Monica was very busy, said Lt. Rudy Flores with the Santa Monica Police Department. “Our beaches, downtown area and business districts were filled with many people enjoying the weekend. This did create a lot of work for the SMPD and our public safety partners however we were able to effectively manage it all. We prepared for such a weekend, with a thorough plan and additional staffing, which greatly helped with the call-load and crowds. SMPD, SMFD and the City worked on getting messaging about traffic, parking and fireworks out early which we felt helped. Gridlock and overall congestion was not as bad, especially compared to other very busy weekends.”

SMFD responded to a total of 157 calls over the holiday weekend.

Firefighters responded to five fires including two vehicle fires, one grass fire, one laundry room fire and a trash fire. The department responded to one call reported overcrowding at an event but determined the occupancy to be within permitted limits. According to SMFD, there was not a significant amount of calls for fireworks related incidents and last year during the same time period, the SMFD responded to 144 calls for service.

There is no “fireworks” designation for calls into Santa Monica’s 9-1-1 system but according to SMPD, calls reporting fireworks would be classified as either a Municipal Code violation or an Information Only report but SMPD said most of the weekend’s Municipal Code violations were likely to be fireworks.

SMPD received five Municipal Code calls on July 2, 27 on July 3, 70 on July 4 and 18 on July 5. Animal Control officers reported finding two dogs over the weekend that were likely lost as a result of fireworks. Both dogs were returned to their owners.

Matthew Hall

Matthew Hall has a Masters Degree in International Journalism from City University in London and has been Editor-in-Chief of SMDP since 2014. Prior to working at SMDP he managed a chain of weekly papers...