A New York City man was arrested in Hawaii after he violated the state's strict quarantine rules for visitors. Authorities were tipped off to the man disobeying the shelter-in-place order after they saw him post beach photos on his Instagram account.
Tarique Peters, 23, posted Instagram photos of himself outside of his hotel room shortly after arriving in O'ahu. Peters posted a photo of himself on the beach with a surfboard on Wednesday, two days after arriving in Hawaii.
On March 26, Hawaii Gov. David Ige (D) instituted a mandatory 14-day quarantine for all tourists visiting the island state. The Hawaii Tourism Authority even set up a fund to pay for tourists to return to their homes if they violated the quarantine.
Peters, who is from the Bronx, was not flown back home, but he was arrested on Friday by special agents from the Department of the Attorney General for violation of the mandatory 14-day quarantine rule and unsworn falsification to authority, according to a news release from the office of Hawaii's governor.
Local citizens became informants as they tipped off authorities that Peters had left his hotel room. Employees of the hotel that Peters was staying at confirmed to investigators that the tourist left the premises on several occasions this week. Peters used public transportation to go to Waikiki at night.
Peters was arrested, and his bail was set at $4,000.
Attorney General Clare Connors released a statement:
We appreciate the vigilance and cooperation of the hotel staff, and staff at other hotels, in helping maintain the health and safety of visitors and residents. It is important that everyone flying into Hawaii at this time, abide by our mandatory rules. Law enforcement, in partnership with other state and county agencies and the travel industry are continuing to monitor compliance with the mandatory self-quarantine rule.
Ige has extended the 14-day mandatory quarantine for all tourists until June 30. Hawaii has the third-least confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. with 638, and there have been 17 COVID-19 deaths.
"These actions are extreme, but necessary, to flatten the curve and lay the groundwork for our recovery," Ige said.