Tarique Peters, a 23-year-old man from New York on vacation in Hawaii, was arrested for allegedly violating the state’s mandatory 14-day quarantine rule as coronavirus cases across the country continue to climb.
According to a press release from the governor's office, Peters arrived on the island of Oahu last Monday and then allegedly used public transportation and traveled around the island to many different places on the same day he arrived.
Authorities were alerted to his behavior by residents who saw Peters posting about his trip on social media. Instagram photos show him sunbathing by a pool and holding a surfboard on a beach, with Waikiki Beach geotagged.
The press release also says that hotel personnel told authorities they saw Peters leave his hotel room and the premises in general numerous times last week. Peters was arrested, and his bail is set at $4,000.
“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,” Hawaii Attorney General Clare Connors said in a statement.
Neither Peters nor Hawaii authorities immediately responded to requests for comment Saturday.
Peters’ Instagram account, which is public, has since been filled with comments from people criticizing his decision to vacation there during the coronavirus pandemic. “Been all across the globe but still haven't learned to respect those you visit. Smh,” one person wrote.
“Unbelievable. If you aren’t going to respect Hawaii and our people, don’t even come! People like you give tourists a horrible reputation,” another person wrote.
Hawaii has 638 reported cases of coronavirus to date, and the state has adopted a mandatory 14-day quarantine for all arrivals. The governor also closed down beaches, but locals have expressed frustration that nonresidents aren't following the quarantine order.
“People will always see this place as their playground. And in this moment, as a Native Hawaiian, this is very reflective of many historical circumstances, where people from outside of the islands have come in and caused real harm to the native population,” Oahu resident Troy Kane told the Guardian. “It’s not always with direct intent to do so, but the impacts, especially on Hawaiian people, are very real.”
Even as the pandemic shows no signs of slowing down, tourists have continued to travel to Hawaii.
Earlier this month, a California couple who went to Waikiki for their honeymoon was allegedly violated the quarantine order multiple times. The hotel they stayed at informed the authorities, who then arrested them.
"It is important that everyone flying into Hawai‘i at this time, abide by our mandatory rules," state attorney general Clare Connors said.
All arrivals are subject to Hawaii’s mandatory quarantine order. A previous version of this post misstated whom it applies to.