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Maui police arrest visitor at Paia beach, cite others at a drum circle, for violating face mask rule

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Maui police arrested a man visiting from Colorado last Friday after observing him walking along a Paia beach without a mask, as well as for refusing to cooperate with officers and providing false information on his identity.

Police were responding to numerous, anonymous complaints about large, drum circle gatherings at a Paia beach park off of Hana Highway on Friday afternoons. According to complaints, the participants and observers of the drum circles were not wearing face masks or following distancing rules.

Officers who arrived on the scene saw a group of about 60 to 80 people gathered around about 20 drummers with face masks dangling beneath their chins as they drummed, police said. Upon their arrival, the drummers put their masks back on.

Twelve citations were issued to various individuals for violating the face mask rule.

Police then saw Christopher Stern, 31, of Colorado, walking along the beach without his mask on. Upon contact, Stern refused to cooperate with officers and provided false information regarding his identity.

He was arrested at about 6:20 p.m. Friday for violating the face mask rule, and then provided officers with his true identity. He was transported to the Wailuku Station for processing without incident.

He posted $4,000 bail, and was given a date to appear in court, police said.

Maui Mayor Michael Victorino updated public health emergency rules for Maui County, which went into effect on Tuesday in an effort to slow the rising number of COVID-19 cases.

Maui County sent out a public service announcement today reminding the public under the amended rules, groups of more than five are not allowed.

In the amended rules, “face coverings must be worn while walking to and from the pool or beach area and may only be removed once the person is stationary and adequately separated from non-household members.”

Face coverings are also required on sidewalks, hiking trails, in parks and similar areas “unless actively engaged in strenuous outdoor physical activity” where adequate physical distancing is both possible and practiced.

An MPD spokeswoman said existing rules prior to Tuesday also “stipulated that the only time a person can be without a mask is when going from the shoreline to towel on the beach.”

Any person found violating these rules is subject to fines of up to $5,000 and/or a maximum of one year in jail.

Reports of quarantine violations can be made to

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