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4 cited after hundreds attend unauthorized event at Kaiwi State Scenic Shoreline

  • COURTESY DLNR
                                Hundreds of people were seen leaving the Kaiwi State Scenic Shoreline in East Oahu on Saturday after authorities shut down an unauthorized large gathering in the area.

    COURTESY DLNR

    Hundreds of people were seen leaving the Kaiwi State Scenic Shoreline in East Oahu on Saturday after authorities shut down an unauthorized large gathering in the area.

  • COURTESY DLNR
                                Hundreds of people were seen leaving the Kaiwi State Scenic Shoreline in East Oahu on Saturday after authorities shut down an unauthorized large gathering in the area.

    COURTESY DLNR

    Hundreds of people were seen leaving the Kaiwi State Scenic Shoreline in East Oahu on Saturday after authorities shut down an unauthorized large gathering in the area.

  • COURTESY DLNR
                                Hundreds of people were seen leaving the Kaiwi State Scenic Shoreline in East Oahu on Saturday after authorities shut down an unauthorized large gathering in the area, including some with equipment to provide amplified music on the beach. In the background are two others with more equipment.

    COURTESY DLNR

    Hundreds of people were seen leaving the Kaiwi State Scenic Shoreline in East Oahu on Saturday after authorities shut down an unauthorized large gathering in the area, including some with equipment to provide amplified music on the beach. In the background are two others with more equipment.

Four people have been cited in connection with a potential “super-spreader” event Saturday that drew hundreds to the Kaiwi State Scenic Shoreline in East Oahu.

Jason Redulla, enforcement chief for DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE),said his officers and Honolulu Police Department broke up the party, which is estimated to have had as many as 300 to 400 attendees. Redulla said during a virtual press conference today that the officers poured out “loads of alcohol,” as they ordered mask-less, non-socially distancing revelers to leave the area.

“This particular party should not have occurred,” Redulla said.”People should think about the effects of their conduct as it relates to attending this party. There is the potential now that COVID can spread and create higher case counts that result in more severe public restrictions. Further it created the unnecessary exposure of the virus to the attendees, their family and their friends.”

He said officials are still investigating who was behind the event, which was described as a “beach takeover.” He said officals found out about the event from advertisements on social media.

According to a DLNR news release, many of the attendees described themselves as University of Hawaii students.

“One person described them as college (freshman) who had been basically subjected to restrictions and lack of freedoms since their junior year,” Redulla said.

He said “every person who attended the Kaiwi party could have been cited for violating the county’s current rule that restricts outdoor gatherings to 25 or fewer people.”

Officials were more focused on quickly ending the event than on issuing citations, he said. However, Redulla said four young people were cited for violations of state park rules with regards to having unpermitted use of generators and having audible devices in the park.

“They carry petty misdemeanor penalties which can result in fines and jail time,” he said.

Redulla implored people not to attend large gatherings, which he said also unduly tax law enforcement officials, who already are dealing with finite resources.

He said that he and three DOCARE officers responded to Saturday’s event, and estimated that they were joined by six or seven Honolulu Police officers. DOCARE only has 16 officers for the entire island of Oahu, Redulla added.

“To divert the kind of resources that we had to divert to break this party up yesterday was really unnecessary on a weekend afternoon that is traditionally very busy,” he said.

The event also unnecessarily exposed officers to catching coronavirus, he said.

In addition to potentially contributing to the spread of COVID-19, Redulla said party goers negatively impacted the park and park users. Attendees took up most of the park’s parking spaces, and left trash and human waste behind, he said.

He said Kaiwi State Scenic Shoreline has no restrooms, “so when you have 300 to 400 people partying, consuming alcohol you can only imagine where they went.”

Redulla warned those planning social gatherings that law enforcement officials plan to aggressively enforce emergency rules, especially as the upcoming Labor Day holiday approaches.

“It is long past the time for law enforcement and health experts to have to warn people about the risks associated with big, unpermitted gatherings anywhere in Hawaii,” he said. “I and many others take an extremely dim view of the dim-witted, selfish behaviors of irresponsible people, no matter their ages.”

Redulla said DOCARE is now at the point that future intervention will prompt a firmer approach.

“We aren’t going to be using the carrot anymore, we will have to use the stick approach,” he said.

Redullas said that he has instructed DOCARE officers, going forward, to confiscate any equipment or supplies used for illegal gatherings.

“If the loss of personal property, taken for evidence in criminal prosecutions, is not enough to get these people to start acting responsibly, we hope it doesn’t take their friends or loved ones getting sick or dying to wake them up,” he said.

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