Hawaiian authorities busted a tourist from New York whose Instagram posts led to his arrest Friday for flouting a law requiring tourists to self-quarantine due to the coronavirus.
Tarique Peters of the Bronx was taken into custody by special agents of the Hawaii state Department of the Attorney General for violating the mandatory 14-day quarantine rule and “unsworn falsification to authority,” the governor’s office announced afterward.
Mr. Peters, 23, arrived on O’ahu on Monday and subsequently posted several pictures from his trip on Instagram, the governor’s office said in a news release.
Indeed, an Instagram account under the New Yorker’s name contains several recent photographs that the user designated as being shot in Waikiki, including an image uploaded Wednesday showing an individual believed to be Mr. Peters holding a surfboard on a Honolulu beach.
Hawaii requires that out-of-state travelers isolate themselves for two weeks upon arrival to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, the contagious disease the coronavirus causes. Visitors are required to sign a document acknowledging the rule, and violators who leave their hotel or residence can face up to a $5,000 fine and a year in prison if caught and convicted.
Authorities became aware of Mr. Peters by individuals who saw his recent Instagram posts, and they later heard from personnel at his hotel that he had recently left the premises several times, the governor’s office said.
“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.
Mr. Peters was booked and had his bail set at $4,000, according to the governor’s office. It was not immediately clear if he had a lawyer or remained in custody over the weekend.