Seven more cited for loitering in areas closed due to lava

Seven more people were cited Wednesday night by officers from the Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement for loitering in an area closed from the public because of lava from Kilauea volcano. According to a written DLNR statement, like 18 people previously cited, the seven allegedly bypassed established checkpoints or were found in closed areas.

Two Puna residents were cited at Bryson Cinder Quarry, past the Papaya Farms Road checkpoint. Officers say the pair got past the checkpoint after a local resident vouched for them saying they were staying at the resident’s home. The two were spotted standing on a puu with hot lava hardening around it about 15 yards away. Officers report 27-year-old Taylor Fankhouser and 33-year-old Jessica Devendorf rode bikes to where they were cited.

Five people were cited outside the gate at MacKenzie State Recreation Area, which has been closed for the past month. They’re identified as: 62-year-old Robert Chetley of Hawaiian Paradise Park, 30-year-old Jonathan Hensley of Pahoa, 30-year-old Jeremy Osuna of Keaau, 38-year-old Daniel Alexander Records of Kapoho and 52-year-old Maryanne Torres of Opihikao.

All seven were cited under Hawaii County Code for loitering in a closed area.

DLNR said those cited put themselves at risk and also potentially endangered the lives of emergency workers and law enforcement officers by their actions.

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