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Breaking Quarantine In Hawaii? A Citizensí Group Is Watching
Honolulu Civil Beat ^ | May 31, 2020 | Yoohyun Jung

Posted on 05/31/2020 5:56:20 PM PDT by kaehurowing

Breaking Quarantine In Hawaii? A Citizens’ Group Is Watching

The group, seeing gaps in enforcement, has helped state and local investigators track down scofflaw tourists.

By Yoohyun Jung

A group of Hawaii residents has taken on the role of enforcers of the state’s COVID-19 travel quarantine, scouring social media and fielding tips to track down visitors ignoring the requirement to isolate for 14 days after arrival.

Take the case of 20-year-old Artyon Zhiryada and 19-year-old Dan Vlasenko, who posted a video of Zhiryada shooting a feral chicken with a spear gun. They were arrested May 22 after Hawaii citizens found their video, tracked their social media accounts, discovered their location and reported them to special agents.

“We were the ones that actually found their location,” said Angela Keen, a former TV news reporter and administrator of the Hawaii Quarantine Kapu Breakers, the community group that helped state investigators find Zhiryada and Vlasenko. “They were all over social media.”

The Hawaii Quarantine Kapu Breakers helped state authorities catch some visitors who were violating quarantine.

The group has also reported others they saw as rule-breakers, most of whom were visitors, connecting the dots and bridging gaps in enforcement of the emergency rules, Keen said. In about a dozen cases, the group’s efforts have led to investigations and arrests.

Law enforcement officials, including Hawaii Attorney General Clare Connors, say the community and social media are playing an important role in enforcement of COVID-19 stay-at-home and quarantine orders.

“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,” Connors said in a May 15 news release.

Keen said the group has faced criticism for being against tourism, but that’s not the point.

“It really all boils down to keeping Hawaii safe, keeping my neighbors safe, keeping my colleagues safe,” she said. “We’ve managed to have the lowest rates for a reason and we want to keep it that way. We want visitors to come back when it’s safe to come back.”

Hawaii has been under a statewide stay-at-home order since March 23 and enacted a 14-day quarantine requirement for visitors March 26. As of Saturday, there have been 651 cases of COVID-19, a relatively small number compared with the rest of the United States.

Legislators and community members say enforcement gaps have allowed some arrivals to Hawaii to dodge the travel quarantine.

Although the number of visitors flying into the state has drastically decreased, it hasn’t completely stopped: more than 12,000 have come since March 26. That’s an average of about 188 visitors a day, although on some days in April, fewer than 100 arrived.

State legislators and community members worried that some visitors were not following quarantine requirements and state authorities were failing to catch them. The Senate Special Committee on COVID-19 pointed out last month that airport officials needed to keep better track of arrivals.

“If you can’t catch them, you can’t catch them,” Sen. Donna Mercado Kim said at the April 30 hearing. “But a lot of these people are blatantly violating (the quarantine).”

Keen said there were many gaps in the state’s process, which is why the community felt the need to step in.

“The dots were not connecting,” she said.

That was evident in the case of Aarona Lopez, a homeless YouTube comedian who flew from Los Angeles to Oahu in April and went straight to an encampment in Waimanalo.

“Knowing she was coming from L.A., which at that time was a hot spot, and knowing she was immediately out in the community, I saw it as a risk,” Keen said.

Lopez had reportedly listed a post office box as her quarantine address. Kapu Breakers tracked her on social media such as Facebook Live and fielded tips from eyes on the ground, Keen said.

Lopez was eventually sent back to California.

The group’s volunteers come from a variety of occupations, including hospitality workers, airline staff, attorneys and executives.

Most importantly, she said, they try to make sure they have their facts before calling anyone out.

The group does not encourage members to take matters into their own hands, but instead sends its cases to authorities.

“We want to be pono and we want to protect our community and that’s the main thing,” she said. “I’d rather that we have a healthy community and healthy Hawaii than to have folks here at the wrong time. If they love Hawaii and they know they’re putting people at risk … they wouldn’t come here.”

Honolulu Police Department Deputy Chief John McCarthy says visitors haven’t been a particular concern.

Honolulu Police Deputy Chief John McCarthy says his department has sought voluntary compliance during the pandemic.

“When you think about it, the majority of the people who are flying are local residents,” he said. Returning residents comprised the largest percentage of arrivals between March 26 and May 28, according to Hawaii Tourism Authority data.

The challenge in enforcing stay-at-home or quarantine violations, he said, was figuring out the limits of police practices.

“You can’t be stopping people randomly,” he said. “It’s just bad practice, bad law enforcement.”

He added, “Our focus from the very beginning was to gain compliance, not to do enforcement. We still have got to uphold the Constitution as well.”

Social media has definitely played a role in enforcing emergency rules, McCarthy said, with some people “giving themselves away” by posting their acts online.

“You’re basically handing me the evidence,” he said.

On Kauai, the community has played a big role in enforcing rules.

Todd Raybuck, the Kauai police chief, said calls for service have gone up significantly since the pandemic began. In April, Kauai police received 2,816 calls related to COVID-19.

“The community has been very active in notifying the police department about perceived or actual violations,” he said. “What we’ve always wanted is for the community as a whole, including any tourists that come, to be self-compliant.”

The success on Kauai in preventing a wider spread of the virus is a testament to the cooperation of the community, he said.

“I’m just grateful that we are on that path to return to whatever the new normal is,” he said.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events; US: Hawaii
KEYWORDS: coronavirus; hawaii; hunters; karensquad; snitches
Community groups in Hawaii hunting down tourist quarantine violators for arrest.
1 posted on 05/31/2020 5:56:20 PM PDT by kaehurowing
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To: kaehurowing

How East German of them!


2 posted on 05/31/2020 6:00:47 PM PDT by Reily
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To: kaehurowing

This would be the perfect time to go to Hawaii but not if you can’t even go to the pool. I have a great pool at home.


3 posted on 05/31/2020 6:01:04 PM PDT by cnsmom
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To: kaehurowing

“I’m just grateful that we are on that path to return to whatever the new normal is.”

Rocket scientist.


4 posted on 05/31/2020 6:01:33 PM PDT by BenLurkin (The above is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire. Or both.)
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To: kaehurowing

“I’m just grateful that we are on that path to return to whatever the new normal is.”

Rocket scientist.


5 posted on 05/31/2020 6:01:34 PM PDT by BenLurkin (The above is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire. Or both.)
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To: kaehurowing

Most living here are fine with shutting out tourists until this blows over. One of the benefits being on islands.

Killing the tourist industry, but the lack of thousands of rental cars clogging the highways is great.


6 posted on 05/31/2020 6:05:39 PM PDT by doorgunner69 (Peace is that brief glorious moment in history when everybody stands around reloading - T Jefferson)
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To: kaehurowing

Remember when people in the USA used to say quaint things like ‘it could never happen here’? Heh, that was so cute.


7 posted on 05/31/2020 6:10:56 PM PDT by pepsi_junkie (Often wrong, but never in doubt!)
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To: pepsi_junkie

Papers please, do you have a web posting permit?


8 posted on 05/31/2020 6:13:04 PM PDT by kaehurowing
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To: kaehurowing

Can we throw Hawaii out of the Union?
Sell it to Japan?


9 posted on 05/31/2020 6:14:15 PM PDT by hadaclueonce ( This time I am Deplorable)
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To: kaehurowing
Visit Hawaii, haole, pay more for everything. It's official!
10 posted on 05/31/2020 6:21:48 PM PDT by coaster123 (Virus = First Plane Strikes Tower)
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To: kaehurowing

If someone gets into trouble over the quarantine, just start rioting and chant about racist oppression. They will not be opposed.


11 posted on 05/31/2020 6:27:12 PM PDT by odawg
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To: kaehurowing

Lowlife turds...


12 posted on 05/31/2020 6:27:16 PM PDT by DesertRhino (Dog is man's best friend, and moslems hate dogs. Add that up. ....)
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To: kaehurowing

No surprise here. The people of Hawaii HATE tourists. Other Americans should never forget this tyranny by snitches displaying their hatred of those who fund the state with tourism.


13 posted on 05/31/2020 6:28:01 PM PDT by Gnome1949
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To: kaehurowing
Yeah, sounds like a great way to vacation. Can't wait to spend money visiting there 😒.
14 posted on 05/31/2020 6:31:40 PM PDT by Pajamajan ( Pray for our nation. Thank the Lord for everything you have. Don't waiblict. Do it today.)
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To: cnsmom
This would be the perfect time to go to Hawaii but not if you can’t even go to the pool.

I'll never go back to that shithole. There are nice neighborhoods near the tourist areas and military bases. The rest of the entire state is a white-hating welfare slum.

15 posted on 05/31/2020 6:33:35 PM PDT by Spirochete (GOP: Gutless Old Party)
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To: kaehurowing

“Are you wasting reichsmarks? The sturmabteilung is watching!”
“Comrades! Inform on your neighbors!”


16 posted on 05/31/2020 6:48:48 PM PDT by Darksheare (Those who support liberal "Republicans" summarily support every action by same.)
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To: kaehurowing
the case of Aarona Lopez, a homeless YouTube comedian who flew from Los Angeles to Oahu in April and went straight to an encampment in Waimanalo.

IOW, she was a bum, adding to the homeless problem. "Encampent" is liberal speak for a morass of tents, tarps, and garbage, infested by bums.

17 posted on 05/31/2020 6:57:29 PM PDT by doorgunner69 (Peace is that brief glorious moment in history when everybody stands around reloading - T Jefferson)
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To: Gnome1949

Visit Hawaii and get the s*** beat out of you by Dah Bruddahs who are officially racially superior to “haoles”. Look up “Kill a Haole Day”.

If it wasn’t for the need for our bases, I would love for the ChiComs to take over because they know how to deal with dangerous minorities.

Tell an armed Chicom “I ain’t afraid of your m***f***ing gun!!”


18 posted on 05/31/2020 8:12:13 PM PDT by elcid1970 ("Pres. Trump doesn't wear glasses. That's because he's got 2020.")
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To: kaehurowing

The quarantine is so yesterday. Get with it, Karens and riot!


19 posted on 05/31/2020 8:19:03 PM PDT by ModelBreaker
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