Authorities in Hawaii arrested a couple after the pair boarded a flight with their 4-year-old son knowing they had tested positive for COVID-19.
“[The couple] knowingly boarded a flight aware of their positive COVID-19 test results,” said a spokesperson for the Kauai Police Department, “placing the passengers of the flight in danger of death.”
NEW: Wailua couple Wesley Moribe & Courtney Peterson arrested for reckless endangerment at airport on Kauai — They both tested positive for #COVID19 but decided to get on United Airlines flight from San Francisco to Lihue anyway, putting other passengers at risk @KITV4 pic.twitter.com/1MRsT1PwNQ
— Tom George (@TheTomGeorge) December 2, 2020
Wesley Moribe and Courtney Peterson were arrested Sunday after their United Airlines flight from San Francisco landed in Lihue, Hawaii, NBC News reported.
The law enforcement representative said the couple, who live in Wailua, Hawaii, was instructed to self-isolate and avoid traveling. The pair ultimately refused the recommendation and traveled anyway.
When Moribe and Peterson landed, they were escorted into an isolation room where officers decked out in full protective equipment — including gloves, hospital gowns, masks, and face shields — interrogated them. Police then arrested and charged the couple with reckless endangerment in the second degree. They were transported to the police headquarters and booked for their crimes.
As for the Hawaii natives’ child, he was released into the care of a family member and Child Protective Services was notified of his parents’ wrongdoing.
“The Kauai Police Department, working alongside our county and state partners, remain diligent in protecting the health and safety of our island,” said Chief of Police Todd G. Raybuck. “We continue to request visitors and residents alike to follow the governor’s emergency rules and take all necessary precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”
On the United Airlines website, it states: “Following [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] guidelines, you will not be able to travel on United for at least 10 days after the date you tested positive and only after you have two successive negative COVID-19 results that were administers at least 24 hours apart.”
Peterson and Moribe posted a $1,000 bail and have been released. If they are convicted, they could face up to one year in jail as well as a $2,000 fine.
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