San Jose woman hospitalized in drive-by firework attack

A San Jose woman is hospitalized after neighbors said she was hit with a firework thrown from a moving car. The woman was walking with her family Tuesday night in the city's Evergreen neighborhood on the east side.

With Fourth of July approaching, neighbors are used to hearing illegal fireworks go off in their Evergreen neighborhood of San Jose but what happened Tuesday night is unimaginable.

"I saw a female laying on the ground with wounds to her leg and a gaping wound to her arm," said Suzanne Bailey of San Jose. "It was pretty bad. They had already wrapped her leg."

At the intersection on Remington Way near Quimby Road, just after 9 p.m. neighbors found the woman shaking and complaining of burns.

"She wasn't crying," said Robert Magdaleno of San Jose. "She was just shocked. I asked her son a question, he said I can't hear. I'm deaf right now."

Witnesses said she was with her family when a car drove by. Someone inside had lit what was believed to be an M-80 firework, throwing it at them and then the car then sped away. Paramedics rushed the mother to the hospital.

"Unfortunately we come to expect it around this time of year," said Capt. Mitch Matlow of San Jose Fire. "We don't like them used as a weapon obviously but they can be."

"We are freaked out," said Bailey. "I don't want to let my kids out. It could have been us. We go to the park."

This comes as the City of San Jose is cracking down this year, upping fines from $500-$1,000 for anyone caught with an illegal firework. Also, more city officials including code enforcement officers and park rangers can cite violators. The fire department echoes explosives are illegal for a reason.

"Even if the purpose driving by is to scare somebody and they just got too close accidentally that's still bad," said Capt. Matlow. "It isn't just an accidental thing. There was malicious intent there."

Neighbors hope it's an isolated accident fearing the mother's injuries could have been worse.

"I just feel like Fourth of July is not going to be fun because I don't know if they are driving around doing this on purpose," said Bailey.

Police canvassed the area looking for the car. Neighbors believe the car was a black Chrysler with tinted windows.