Incriminating himself through social media posts, a New Yorker was arrested amid his supposed vacation in Hawaii due to negligence and failure to follow the coronavirus quarantine protocol set by the island state, Friday.
According to information released by the COVID-19 Joint Information Center of Hawaii, the tourist, identified as Tarique Peters who hailed from the Bronx, arrived in Honolulu on May 11.
The 23-year-old tourist was nabbed in the state after authorities found pictures of him on the beach in his Instagram account while he is supposed to be in quarantine in order to prevent the spread of the virus.
In a statement released by the office of Hawaii's governor, Peters was arrested on charges of violating the mandated 14-day quarantine rule in the state and also for "unsworn falsification to authority."
Moreover, the release stated that Peters allegedly left his hotel room immediately after he arrived in the state. He was also accused of traveling to many places and using public transportation despite the fact that he is supposed to be isolating. Social media posts from locals who saw photos of Peters on the beach carrying his surfboard, sunbathing, and strolling around Waikiki during the night alerted the local authorities of Peters' activities.
After seeing the said posts, agents from the office of the state attorney general sought out Peters and arrested him on Friday morning. According to the staff of the hotel, he was checked in to, Peters was seen leaving the hotel premises a number of times since his arrival.
Peters was then detained and was assigned bail amounting to $4,000 dollars. The tourist, however, has not been available for comments since the arrest.
Quarantine in Paradise
The state government of Hawaii has imposed a mandatory quarantine on all travelers heading to the island state. For two weeks, tourists and travelers are not allowed to leave their hotel rooms with the exception of medical emergencies. Guests in hotels are also not allowed to receive any housekeeping services in the given period and they must arrange food delivery.
One of the struggles of Hawaiian legislators amid the coronavirus pandemic is the struggle to improve the enforcement of quarantine as travelers continue to land in the state. As of May 15, 252 visitors and at least 318 residents arrived in the island state, according to data provided by the Hawaii tourism authority.
Around the same time last year, the tourism-dependent state welcomed more than 30,000 passengers daily. However, the number has plummeted due to the spread of COVID-19.
In a statement by Hawaii Attorney General Clare Connors, she expressed gratitude to the local people who report violations of the imposed emergency regulations through social media. She also thanked them for continuing to be vigilant and alerting the appropriate authorities.
As of the moment, the island state has reported 640 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Five hundred seventy-three (573) of which have already recovered, while 17 succumbed to the disease.
Aside from Peters, there have already been several quarantine violators who have been arrested in Hawaii.
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