Arrest, fine or shame: What people who break coronavirus stay-at-home orders face

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Arrest, fine or shame: What people who break coronavirus stay-at-home orders face

As the number of coronavirus cases mounts across the United States, so, too, have the stay-at-home orders issued by state and local governments.

But how are they enforced?

Many police departments have said they’ll trust community members to voluntarily comply. Others are using enforcement measures such as citations or adding charges for violating an order when making an arrest for a more serious crime.

In Hawaii, at least two people were arrested after the the governor issued a statewide stay-at-home order on Monday, the Star Adviser reported. Another 70 people were issued citations.

Most of the citations came from public parks after people ignored a police warning, according to the Star Adviser.

A 43-year-old woman was also arrested for violating a protective order related to a child custody dispute.

Carissa Glende was taken into custody after she “threw a rock at a window and started an argument with the home’s occupants,” West Hawaii Today reported.

“It’s not that we went out looking for it, but because this person was arrested for another crime and they’re out where they’re not supposed to be, we added that as a second charge,” Hawaii island Police Chief Paul Ferreira said, according to the Star Adviser.

Two men in Ohio were also arrested this week after the governor issued a stay-at-home order on March 22.

Eric Bates was caught shoplifting from a store in Avon, Fox8 reported. Police charged him with theft, obstructing, possession of drug paraphernalia and violating governor’s orders.

A driver and passenger in Bucyrus were charged with violating the governor’s orders after a traffic stop, the Crawford Source reported. The pair face also face felony drug possession charges.

In Indiana, a 20-year-old was arrested for allegedly drunk driving Thursday night during a statewide stay-at-home order, Fox59 reported.

The governor’s order went into effect on March 24 at 11:59 p.m.

Joseph Baker was charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated, minor consuming alcohol and disobeying a declaration of disaster emergency, according to Fox59.

Meanwhile, officials in Colorado have taken a different approach.

According to the Loveland Reporter-Herald, residents would only face criminal charges “after all other measures to gain compliance have failed.”

Instead, officials in Colorado’s public safety department and Attorney General’s office recommended using social media or local media outlets to apply public pressure.

“If public shaming fails… then authorities should seek civil remedies before filing criminal charges — which likely would result in a citation, rather than a physical arrest, as authorities try to keep jail populations to a minimum during the pandemic,” the Reporter-Herald reported.

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