Many Hawaii residents have no qualms about helping law enforcement catch violators of the state’s 14-day self-quarantine, especially when it comes to visitors to the Aloha State.
Two visitors were arrested and charged Saturday in violations of the quarantine order. The number of arrivals Sunday was up to 272 visitors and 400 returning residents.
The founder of a large Facebook group prohibited postings of quarantine-breaker sightings, which led to other groups posting the sightings of visitors posting photos of themselves on social media posing on Hawaii beaches and elsewhere.
One such group, Hawaii Quarantine Kapu Breakers, will meet today with the state Senate’s special committee regarding Hawaii’s COVID-19 plans and procedures, along with the attorney general, the state transportation director and the Honolulu police chief, Sen. Donna Kim announced Monday night.
The Department of the Attorney General has been busy tracking down violators of the quarantine, both visitors and returning residents, said its spokesman Krishna Jayaram.
“Typically, travelers tend to post” photos on social media, he said.
And it appears that typically, that’s how they’re getting caught.
One California visitor flaunted violating the order on social media with photos of his stay in Hawaii. Citizen tips and his own postings led to his arrest Saturday one hour before his departure from Daniel K. Inouye International Airport. This was just hours after a 23-year-old Colorado woman was caught on Maui.
Abdulla Aliyev, aka Turgut Aliev, a citizen of Azerbaijan who lives in Reseda, Calif., posted at 11:30 a.m. that he was at the airport, ready to leave the islands to catch a flight to Los Angeles.
He arrived May 1 in Honolulu, staying at a Waikiki Airbnb. After local residents reported him, special agents with the Investigations Division of the Department of the Attorney General began monitoring his social media posts at the beach, at Diamond Head, at Foster Botanical Garden and elsewhere, as well as blogging on the bus.
He even lied to someone on social media who pointed out he was violating the emergency orders, saying Honolulu police cited and fined him.
Deputy sheriffs at the airport arrested him on behalf of the Department of the Attorney General, which charged him with violating the 14-day quarantine order and unsworn falsification to authority.
He was taken into custody at the airport, charged and released after posting $2,000 bail, Jayaram said, adding he then returned to Los Angeles.
“He has the right to return,” Jayaram said, adding he must return for his arraignment and plea, scheduled for July 13 at Honolulu District Court.
After 23-year-old Tara Trunfio of Colorado was reportedly violating the 14-day quarantine order, Maui police issued an all-points bulletin for her arrest and posted it to social media, attaching photos she posted of herself.
Maui police said they reached 300,000 people with their post and got 5,000 comments.
Police were called to a home in Kula at 1:40 a.m. Saturday for a woman who was on the property refusing to leave, MPD said. She was later identified as Trunfio.
Police arrested her at 2:31 a.m. on suspicion of two counts of violations of rules and orders set forth by the governor and the Maui mayor, despite having acknowledged those emergency proclamations upon her arrival. She was charged, and her bail was set at $4,000.
The Maui Police Department said in a news release announcing her arrest, “We thank the public for their assistance in helping slow the spread of COVID-19.”
MPD posted Monday on its Facebook page a request for help in finding Ashley Ruth Degraaf, 31, another Colorado woman, wanted for violating quarantine rules and orders.
Police allege Degraaf, upon arrival Friday from Colorado, said she would be staying at a hostel, but police were later told that she immediately canceled her reservations.
Police tried to contact her by the phone number and email address she provided, but no response was received.
On Monday night there were 458 views, 2,100 shares and 926 comments.
MPD asks anyone with information to call 244-6400.