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6 more citations issued to lava loiterers in Lower Puna

  • DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Police monitored Highway 132 near Pohoiki Road past Pahoa on May 29. Many loiterers who have been cited said they did not know they were in a closed area, according to DOCARE officers, even though they walked past barricades or used back roads to get around checkpoints.

Hawaii island police and state conservation officers cited six more people over the past 24 hours for loitering in lower Puna, state officials said, bringing the total number issued to about 47 since the eruptions began.

On Monday, officers from the state Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement cited Kelly Adams, 31, of Pahoa at Lava Tree State Park. Police cited Nellie Stockwell, 26, Kevin Wuijckhuijse, 31, and Andre Galic, 31, at Lava Tree State Park and Highway 132.

Today, DOCARE cited Nicholas Sissini, 26, and Stephany Sollera, 24, of Honolulu at Highway 132 and Pohiki Road. The pair were wearing respirators, according to the DOCARE officer, and said they were enticed by social media postings which continue to show others illegally entering the evacuation zone to photograph or tape active lava flows.

Many who have been cited also said they did not know they were in a closed area, according to DOCARE officers, even though they walked past barricades or used back roads to get around checkpoints.

Earlier this month Gov. David Ige issued a proclamation which gives judges the option of imposing fines of up to $5,000 and a year in jail for people convicted of being in a closed area. Ige said there was a need to strengthen enforcement tools for controlling access to dangerous areas.

Last week, three people cited at Lava Tree State Park pleaded no contest to their charges. Two of them were fined $500 each and the third person will serve 50 hours of community service in lieu of a fine.

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