Quarantine Violators Arrested in Waikiki; One Charged With Animal Cruelty

Social media postings again helped lead to the arrests of two men, on Friday afternoon, accused of violating the State’s 14-day mandatory traveler quarantine rules.

Artyon Zhiryada

Special Agents from the Investigation Division of the Department of the Attorney General arrested 20-year-old Artyon Zhiryada of Happy Valley, OR and 19-year-old Dan Vlasenko of Vancouver, WA as they were leaving a condominium on Lewers Street in Waikiki. 

In addition to facing quarantine violation charges, Zhiryada faces an additional charge of Cruelty to Animals. Agents say he posted a video, among others, showing him shooting a feral chicken with a spear gun in an area parking lot. They say the pair arrived in Honolulu last Saturday, indicating they were staying at a friend’s condo. They immediately began breaking quarantine requirements and “showed off their escapades by posting their adventures on social media sites as they traveled to various locations around Honolulu.” 

Both men were booked and charged and have been unable to post bail at this time. For Zhiryada, bail is set at $4,500 and for Vlasenko it is $4,000. 

Attorney General Clare Connors commented, “We appreciate the assistance of those who reported these social media postings to us. Our special agents have arrested 15 quarantine violators in recent weeks and county police departments have arrested additional suspects. Once again, we must warn residents who return, and visitors who come to Hawai‘i, that they will face consequences for violating our COVID-19 emergency rules. Please do the right thing and if you cannot abide by the 14-day quarantine, postpone your trip to the Aloha State until the quarantine ends, for your own safety and the safety of everyone else.”

Arizona Visitor Posts Hawaii Excursions, Takes a Job & Gets Arrested

Wednesday afternoon, Special Agents from the Investigation Division of the Dept. of the Attorney General arrested an 18-year-old woman on charges of violating the State’s mandatory 14-day-quarantine rule and for unsworn falsification to authority.

Alyza Alder

Alyza Alder, of Gilbert, AZ, was taken into custody at a fast food restaurant in Laie, after a citizen notified authorities that she was allegedly in violation of emergency rules. The Hawai‘i Tourism Authority assisted law enforcement on this case.

Alder arrived on O‘ahu on May 6 and allegedly began posting photos of herself swimming off beaches in Lāʻie and Hau‘ula between May 8 and yesterday. Investigators say while she still should have been under quarantine, she took employment at the restaurant. She has been booked and charged and her bail is set at $2,000.

State Attorney General Clare Connors reiterated, “We are asking everyone – returning residents and visitors – to abide by our state’s 14-day self-quarantine order. The 14-day self-quarantine rules protect everyone’s health and safety. As we’ve said before, if you come to Hawai‘i with the expectation that you can ignore the self-quarantine order, you very likely will be reported, arrested and end up in jail facing hefty fines. All of us must do our part to protect ourselves, our families, friends and guests.”

Committee to Meet on Quarantine Violators

The Hawaii Special Committee on COVID-19 will convene tomorrow, May 19, to assess and advise the Senate regarding the State of Hawaii’s COVID-19 plans and procedures to include, but not limited to:

1) Confirm the development of the state departmental plans and procedures;
2) Review and assess current state departmental plans and procedures;
3) Review and assess whether state departmental plans and procedures are properly and timely implemented to safeguard public health and safety; and
4) To communicate and disseminate information obtained therefrom.

At 2:30 p.m. the special committee will be meeting with Attorney General Clare Connors, Chief of the Honolulu Police Department Susan Ballard, a representative of the Facebook group Hawaiʻi Quarantine Kapu Breakers, and others to discuss the enforcement of the 14-day quarantine and stay at home orders.

Please note that there may be committee members or invited speakers participating remotely via video or teleconference.

The meeting will be available for live viewing on Olelo Channel 49 on Oahu and will go out live for pick up by neighbor island public access channels.

No public testimony will be accepted.

If you require special assistance, call 586-6800 or email your request to waysandmeans@capitol.hawaii.gov.

Tourist Busted at Airport Trying to Leave Hawaii

So apparently coming to Hawaii while we have this 14-day quarantine being imposed on visitors has become a “cat and mouse” game for law enforcement officers in the islands.

Abdulla Aliyev (aka Turgut Aliev)

The latest “mouse” is a social media user that goes by the name of “Turgut” and appears to be someone who moved to the United States from Azerbaijan and now lives in Reseda, California.

According to a release, Abdulla Aliyev (aka Turgut Aliev), a citizen of Azerbaijan, who lives in Reseda, Californa was arrested early Saturday afternoon at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport one hour before he was scheduled to catch a flight to Los Angeles. At 11:30 a.m. he allegedly blogged that he was at the airport and was leaving in a few hours. He is charged with violating the 14-day quarantine law and unsworn falsification to authority. He was taken into custody by officers from the Airports Sheriff’s Division after they were alerted to his impending departure by Special Agents from the Investigative Division of the Dept. of the Attorney General.

It’s reported Aliyev arrived on O’ahu on May 1 and immediately began leaving an Airbnb condominium that he’d rented on Kuhio Avenue in Waikiki. Special agents say his social media posts showed him on the beach, at Diamond Head, at Foster Botanical Garden and at other locations around the island. He blogged while riding the bus.

Abdulla Aliyev (aka Turgut Aliev)

The attorney general’s special agents searched for Aliyev daily, after being alerted to his activities woh had been monitoring his social media posts. In response to one of his posts, in which someone wrote to tell him he was violation Hawaii’s COVID-19 Emergency Rules, he responded, “I know, that’s why Honolulu PD gave me a $460 ticket.” This was a false statement. Aliyev was booked on the charges and bail was set at $2,000.

At Hoomaluhia Botanical Garden

I’ve grabbed a bunch of screenshots from his Facebook account just in case he decides to make it private.

According to State Attorney General Clare Connors, “We and most people in Hawaii have little tolerance for anyone, either a visitor or returning resident, who flouts the emergency rules currently in place to protect everyone and to keep the coronavirus infection rate in Hawaii low. If you are out and about in violation of a self-quarantine order, it is likely you will be reported and arrested…”

Governor David Ige’s Seventh Supplementary Emergency Proclamation, dated May 5, 2020, Section 1, orders that:

III. Safer at Home Pursuant to sections 127A-12(a)(5), 127A-12(b)(14), 127A-13(a)(1), and 127A-13(a)(7), HRS, all persons within the State of Hawaiʻare ordered to stay at home or in their place of residence except as necessary to maintain continuity of operations of the federal critical infrastructure sectors, as set forth in Exhibit B attached hereto, and as further designated below or by the Director of HIEMA.

With respect to persons residing in hotels, condominiums, townhomes, apartments, or other multi-unit dwellings, “place of residence” means the person’s individual hotel room or unit. To the extent, persons use shared or outdoor spaces when outside their residence, they must comply with the social distancing requirements set forth herein to the fullest extent possible. All persons may leave their homes or place of residence only for the businesses or operations identified in Section III. A of the Seventh Supplementary Emergency Proclamation (Proclamation) and/or to engage in permitted activities outside their homes or places of residence described in Section III.B of this Proclamation.

The Proclamation specifies the penalty associated with violations as follows:

  • Criminal Penalties. (a) Any person violating any of these rules shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction, the person shall be fined not more than $5,000, or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.

Social Media Posts Lead to Another Visitor Arrest

A 23-year-old man from New York was arrested this morning by special agents from the Department of the Attorney General for violation of the mandatory 14-day quarantine rule and unsworn falsification to authority.

Tarique Peters of the Bronx arrived on O‘ahu on Monday and posted numerous pictures of himself on Instagram. He allegedly left his hotel room the day he arrived and traveled many places using public transportation.

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. 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.

When he was arrested, a local man was with him and charges are pending against him. Peters was booked and his bail is set at $4,000.

Hawai‘i Attorney General Clare Connors said, “We appreciate the assistance of local people who spot flagrant violations of our emergency rules on various social media sites and report them to the appropriate authorities.”

HTA Data: Visitor Arrivals, Purpose of Trips & Accommodation Selection

Yesterday, 773 people arrived in Hawaii including 216 visitors and 286 residents. During this same time last year, nearly 30,000 passengers arrived in Hawaii daily, including residents and visitors.

The state’s mandatory 14-day self-quarantine started on March 26th for all passengers arriving in Hawaii from out of state. The quarantine order was expanded on April 1st to include interisland travelers.

This table shows the number of people who arrived by air from out of state yesterday and does not include interisland travel.

SUMMARY: From March 26th through April 30th, 23,302 passengers arrived in Hawaii by air including 4508 visitors and 8224 residents. This accounts for changes to the initial daily passenger count based on follow-up calls to the quarantined visitors, some of whom turned out to be intended residents instead of visitors.

This table below shows the number of people who arrived by air from out of state from March 26th through April 30th and does not include interisland travel.

Crew = flight crew members

Intended Resident = people who are moving to Hawaii such as military members and their families, and former residents who intend to live in Hawaii

Resident = people who have a Hawaii ID

Transit = people who are in transit to another location through Hawaii and aren’t leaving the airport

Visitor = people who do not have a Hawaii ID including essential health care workers, essential federal workers, former residents such as mainland college students coming to stay with family, military on temporary assignment, and leisure travelers

The following table shows what the visitors who arrived during that period indicated as the purpose of their trip. The second table below shows what they indicated as their accommodation. People can choose more than one purpose of trip and type of accommodation.

This data was collected from the HTA survey on the back of the Hawaii Agriculture Declaration Form. People are not mandated by law to fill out the survey so some are left blank.

Improved Verification Process Implemented for Airline Passengers

The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) has implemented improved measures to verify incoming passenger information before they leave the airport to help ensure people are abiding by the traveler quarantine order. The enhanced process is underway at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL) and will begin statewide in the coming days.

Hawaii was the first state in the country to implement a traveler self-quarantine order and the process is evolving and improving every day. The 14 day traveler self-quarantine process encompasses several different agencies which are coordinating with each other, with Kenneth Hara, Hawaii Emergency Management Agency (HI-EMA) Director, serving as the overall operations lead.

Arriving passengers on trans-Pacific flights will continue to fill out the State of Hawaii Department of Agriculture declaration form. After landing they will have their temperature taken. Anyone with a high temperature will receive a medical assessment by paramedics stationed at the airport.

Passengers who do not have a fever will continue through the process. An airport representative will review the declaration form to make sure it is complete.

The passenger will move to the order for self-quarantine station. The person will also initial and sign the mandatory order for self-quarantine form confirming they are aware they must self-quarantine for 14 days. By signing the legal document, they acknowledge they understand violating the order is a criminal offense and they are subject to a $5,000 fine and/or a year imprisonment.

An airport representative will collect the two forms and begin verifying their information. First, they will call their mobile phone number to confirm it rings right in front of them. If it does not ring, the person may have listed inaccurate information and is asked to verify the number. If the person refuses to provide a phone number that can be answered on the spot, law enforcement is contacted and they are subject to citation and arrest.

After the phone number is verified, an airport representative will then check the address listed for lodging. For returning Hawaii residents, the address should match their government issued ID. For visitors, the airport representative will call their hotel to confirm they have a reservation. Processing personnel have phone numbers for every hotel in the state.

If the visitor is not staying at a hotel, the address they list will be checked on the county’s tax map key (TMK) to verify it is a legitimate residence. The number for the place of lodging will also be called to check if they are staying with someone at the address.

All information will also be provided to counties to check if the address is a vacation rental. This is a warning to all vacation rentals in the state to stop accepting visitor reservations. The government will have their address and they will be subject to enforcement for operating illegally. A list of suspected illegal short-term rental sites will be provided to the appropriate county.

Once all the information is confirmed and the order is signed the person is allowed to leave.

“I myself was one of the people verifying the passenger information yesterday. The process is slower, but it is effective,” said Director Jade Butay, Hawaii Department of Transportation. “People must understand this is not the time to be vacationing in Hawaii, but if they do, they must abide by the traveler quarantine order and be prepared to stay inside for 14 days.”

Law enforcement officers are standing by to deal with anyone who refuses the process or becomes combative.

In addition, 20 HDOT Administration Division employees have been reassigned to conduct follow up calls to residents to verify they are abiding by the 14 day traveler quarantine order beginning today. Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) personnel will continue calling visitors during the traveler quarantine period.

HDOT employees are also working with the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (DLIR) to help with unemployment claims at the convention center.

“HDOT and its employees are going above and beyond their normal duties and are working to help the community during this extraordinary time,” said Director Butay.

Overall passenger arrivals to Hawaii are down more than 99 percent from this time last year. Currently there are very few incoming flights to Hawaii. The only remaining domestic flights to Honolulu are from San Francisco, Oakland, Los Angeles and Seattle. The only regularly scheduled international destination is Guam. There are minimal trans-Pacific flights arriving to neighbor islands. Right now, only Delta Airlines is flying from Los Angeles to Kahului, Kona and Lihue 3-4 times a week.

Facebook Group Helps in Enforcing Quarantine Rules

A Facebook page named Hawai’i Quarantine Kapu Breakers has been set-up to report visitors who may be breaking Hawaii’s quarantine laws, They have been very successful in tracking a few people that feel the need to come to Hawaii and break the state’s quarantine rules.

The purpose of the group is “to bring awareness to issues surrounding tourists not adhering to public safety standards. The point of this group is NOT to harass individuals. Help us find them, and turn them into the proper authorities.”

Using the hashtag #MaiHeleMai (Mai Hele Mai = Don’t Come) social media users are voicing their concerns of having tourists come to Hawaii during this pandemic and reporting violators they see on the Facebook page.

Local musicians and entertainers are making videos for the following facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/MAIHELEMAI1/.

Image from Hawai’i Quarantine Kapu Breakers page. “Mai Hele Mai” means don’t come.

This week, four individuals have been arrested on O‘ahu for violating the State’s mandatory, 14-day, self-quarantine orders for everyone flying into Hawai‘i. An Australian man and a Las Vegas woman were arrested by special agents from the Department of the Attorney General yesterday, after their hotel received complaints that they’d been outdoors repeatedly during the five days since they first arrived on O‘ahu.

Also, yesterday Honolulu Police Department officers arrested a California man and a woman in A‘ala Park for violating the emergency rules. They’d allegedly violated the self-quarantine rules for an entire week. Anyone arriving in Hawai‘i from out of state goes through a mandatory screening process, including filling out an Order for Self-Quarantine form.

Depending on the island, processing of these forms is handled by the Department of Transportation and/or the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority. Accommodations for visitors are verified by contacting hotels directly and giving them a heads up that a visitor is headed their way. Visitors and returning residents are then contacted numerous times to verify that they are staying in their place of lodging or at home.

Call center workers, mostly from the Hawai‘i Visitors and Convention Bureau and HTA have made 11,000 calls since the quarantine rules took effect on March 26.  When call center workers fail to contact someone, they alert law enforcement.

In some cases, violators leave the state to lessen the resource burden on law enforcement authorities. In others, they are ordered to return to their lodging and to stay put until they’ve completed their 14-day-long self-quarantine period.