A New York tourist, who decided to go on holidays to Hawaii despite the global COVID-19 pandemic, is probably wondering why he lived by the mantra “pics or it didn’t happen”.
Because posting a string of snaps from his sunny vacation on social media has landed him out of his hotel room – and into a jail cell, according to reports.
Tarique Peters arrived from his home in the Bronx, New York, to O’ahu on Monday May 11, but instead of spending two weeks in quarantine at his hotel, the 23-year-old left his room the same day he arrived “and travelled many places using public transportation”.
According to a release from Hawaii’s governor, Mr Peters was arrested and charged with bail set at $A6200.
“Authorities became aware of his social media posts from citizens who saw posts of him – on the beach with a surfboard, sunbathing, and walking around Waikiki at night,” the release read.
“This morning agents were able to confirm with hotel personnel that had seen Peters leave his room and the premises on numerous occasions this week.”
Mr Peters’ mother, Marcia, hit out at her son over the arrest, saying he had no business going to Hawaii in the first place.
“I told him not to travel. I told him not to go. I told him to cancel all his vacation (plans) because he knows what’s going on in America and all over,” she said, noting her son normally “does the right thing”.
“Where am I going to get $4000 from? I don’t know that he has $4000. He ain’t rich like that. We gonna have to work something out,” she said.
Mr Peters’ social media posts were continuing to draw hate on Saturday, however his Instagram page has now been deleted.
“Risking your own life for the bragging rights is your business so be my guest. Risking other people’s lives is just plain reckless. You don’t have that right,” one Instagram user posted under a photo of Peters standing on a beach holding a surfboard.
“How is jail?” another wrote under a photo Peters snapped of a sunset.
“How to be famous for all the wrong reasons!”
Hawaii has strict laws currently in place for all arriving visitors. The state requires tourists to list their contact and accommodation information, and sign an agreement for 14 days of self-quarantine.
“By signing the legal document, they acknowledge they understand violating the order is a criminal offence and they are subject to a $5000 fine and/or a year imprisonment,” according to the state’s department of transportation.
Mr Peters isn’t the first tourist to break the visitation agreement.
Earlier this month, a recently married Californian couple were arrested for refusing to follow quarantine measures despite being warned on several occasions.
“These actions are extreme, but necessary, to flatten the curve and lay the groundwork for our recovery,” Governor David Ige said, noting the quarantine order will be in place until at least the end of June.
To date, Hawaii has had 340 confirmed cases of COVID-19, and recorded 17 deaths.