3 tourists arrested in Hilo for quarantine violation

Two men and a woman, all from Everett, Wash., were arrested Wednesday in Hilo and charged with violating Gov. David Ige’s mandatory 14-day self-quarantine order for visitors to Hawaii.

The three — 39-year-old Caleb Conrad, 27-year-old Matthew Young and 24-year-old Makynzie Anderson — were apprehended at about 3:15 p.m. at the pool at the Grand Naniloa Hotel on Banyan Drive.

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These are the first known visitor quarantine violation arrests on Hawaii Island.

In addition, police said, a 39-year-old Washington state woman was issued a citation for violating the quarantine order, also at the Grand Naniloa.

All were charged with violating the 14-day quarantine order, which is intended to stem the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. They were released from custody after posting $500 bail. All were told to appear at 1:30 p.m. June 9 at Hilo District Court.

According to Hawaii Police Department Capt. Reed Mahuna, the three, traveling together, arrived in Hilo on Tuesday.

Mahuna said hotel staff reported the quarantine violation. He added that the hotel ejected the three from the premises, and they had to find alternative lodging.

Mahuna told the Tribune-Herald he could not disclose when they are scheduled to leave.

In addition, On Oahu, a couple was reportedly arrested twice for violating the 14-day mandatory quarantine order.

Kimberly Kim Tien, 34, of Las Vegas and 33-year-old Edwin Htun of Sydney, Australia, were reported for allegedly breaking quarantine by management of the Lay Low Hotel in Waikiki, which told authorities the pair left their room numerous times since they arrived April 15.

The woman reportedly posted images of their violations on Instagram.

They checked out of the Lay Low on Tuesday and into the Outrigger Waikiki, and allegedly violated the quarantine order again. When told by Outrigger staff they had to follow quarantine rules, they checked out there, as well.

Law enforcement was notified and informed hotels that the couple might be looking for another hotel to check into. A manhunt was launched, and the pair was again taken into custody Wednesday.

Tien and Htun were immediately escorted to the Honolulu airport, where they caught a flight out of Hawaii.

Earlier this week on Oahu, a California couple, Ricky Swan and Joyce Walker, were arrested for violating the quarantine order and put on a flight back to San Diego. And last week on Oahu, Aarona Browning Lopez was sent back to Los Angeles after posting her outdoor activities on social media.

Return tickets for Swan, Walker and Lopez were paid for by the Visitor Aloha Society of Hawaii, which has thus far used a $25,000 grant from the Hawaii Tourism Authority to send 19 people back to their airports of origin during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’ve been helping victims of crime or other adversity they may have experienced in Hawaii for the past 23 years,” said Jessica Lani Rich, VASH president and CEO. “During this unprecedented public health crisis, we are supporting the return of individuals who arrive from the mainland, who do not have prearranged lodging and may need financial assistance for their return flights.”

For visitors who do have money to pay for their flights, VASH is helping with booking. So far during the COVID-19 pandemic, flights have been arranged to at least a half-dozen mainland airports and Guam.

State Attorney General Clare Connors called VASH’s assistance “invaluable to law enforcement.”

“The ability to return people quickly to their airports of origin during the coronavirus crisis greatly assists law enforcement’s ability to ensure the success of our statewide emergency measures,” Connors said. “The fact scarce government funds do not need to be expended for these return trips also helps fulfill the mission of keeping Hawaii safe.

“All of us in the law enforcement community are deeply grateful for this partnership.”

Violating the 14-day self-quarantine order is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine of as much as $5,000.

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For individuals arrested for violating self-quarantine rules, they have the option of arranging payment of fines with the courts in lieu of returning to Hawaii for trials.

Email John Burnett at jburnett@hawaiitribune-herald.com.

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