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Police break up Paia drum circle and issue citations

The Maui News

Police reported issuing citations for face mask violations last week after finding 60 to 80 people gathered around about 20 drummers who had face masks under their chins at a Paia beach park.

Officers and county park security officers went to the beach park off Hana Highway on Jan. 15 after numerous complaints about large drum circle gatherings occurring at the beach on Friday afternoons, police said.

Complaints to mpdquarantine@mpd.net reported that drum circle participants and observers weren’t wearing face masks or following social distancing guidelines, and the large group exceeded the allowable amount for outdoor social gatherings under public health emergency rules.

A Colorado man who was seen walking along the beach without his mask on was arrested at 6:20 p.m. after he refused to cooperate with officers and provided false information about his identity, police said.

After being arrested for violating public health emergency rules, Christopher Stern, 31, cooperated with police and gave officers his name, police said. He also was charged with unsworn falsification to authorities and transported to the Wailuku Police Station. He posted $4,000 bail to be released.

Under Mayor Michael Victorino’s updated public health emergency rules that took effect Tuesday, indoor and outdoor social gatherings of more than five people are prohibited. Face coverings are required and physical distancing of at least 6 feet must be maintained.

A violation of the rules is a misdemeanor carrying penalties of up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $5,000.

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