A Bronx man was arrested in Hawaii for violating the state’s hardline rules for out-of-towners who must self-quarantine for 14 days because of the pandemic, after chronicling his exploits on his Instagram account.
The man, identified as Tarique Peters, 23, posted photos of himself catching some sun and hitting the beach this past week. The state attorney general, Clare Connors, said the man wasted no time leaving his hotel room the day he arrived, using public transportation to get around.
Peters was arrested and jailed on Friday. A judge set bail for Peters at $4,000. Investigators also found a local Hawaii resident, a man, with Peters; charges against him are pending.
Connors thanked local spotters for noticing Peters (an Instagram post from May 4th showed him in New York City, in Bryant Park). Hotel staffers were also credited for telling investigators they noticed Peters leaving his hotel room several times.
“We appreciate the assistance of local people who spot flagrant violations of our emergency rules on various social media sites and report them to the appropriate authorities," said Connors in a press release.
Angry comments from Hawaii residents flooded Peters' Instagram.
"Aloha doesn’t mean you get to come to Hawaii with a complete disregard to laws that are in place to keep us safe! We don’t have the amazing medical infrastructure the mainland has and we can not handle Covid the way most places in the USA can," wrote one poster, turquoiseshadows. "We are a tiny island in the middle of the ocean. Did you not think that you could be bringing Covid to us and spreading Covid in a place that can not handle it in any way? Or did you think only [of] your selfish desires? Please reflect on this on your way home and when you get there figure out a way to apologize to all the people who call Hawaii home and the elders who live here."
Hawaii, which has 638 reported cases of coronavirus, adopted the self-quarantine measure to discourage travelers on March 26. According to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, "About 858 passengers came to Hawaii on Thursday, including 318 returning residents and 252 visitors. The Hawaii Tourism Authority report indicated that while most visitors said they were arriving for business or to see family or friends, 12 of them said they came just for a vacation... During the same time last year, nearly 30,000 passengers — visitors and residents — arrived in Hawaii daily."
Yesterday, authorities extended the quarantine order until June 30.