Maine Coronavirus: Armed guards blocked a neighbor’s driveway with a tree to force him to quarantine

Mar 30, 2020 11:50 PM ET

The inhabitant of Vinalhaven said he went outside Friday to check why his cable service wasn’t working and found a tree that was blocking the end of his street, the Knox County sheriff’s office said.

“While he was examining the fallen tree, a neighbor started yelling at it and a group of people showed up and gathered. To think that the group might be there to harm him, he fled to his apartment and told the story his roommates what he found, “the sheriff’s office said on Facebook.

The three roommates stayed at home, where they contacted the Coast Guard for help and a drone to monitor the group’s activities on a VHF radio, the sheriff’s office said. Vinalhaven is an island city.

When law enforcement arrived, the group had fled and it was “evident” that a tree had been felled and pulled to block the road, the sheriff’s office said.

The officials learned that some residents believed that the roommates should be quarantined. None of the roommates who came from New Jersey and had been renting a house in Vinalhaven since September while doing a construction job showed symptoms that matched Covid-19, MPs said.

The residents had been on the island for almost a month before the incident occurred.

It is not “we against them”

MP Genevieve McDonald, who represents the island, said on Facebook that the incident was “not to be celebrated.”

A Rhode Island police officer bought groceries for an elderly inmate who had no food at home.

After a verbal argument with some locals targeting roommates because of their New Jersey license plate, “a group of local vigilantes decided to take matters into their own hands,” said McDonald.

“Now is not the time to develop or promote a” we against you “mentality,” she added. “Targeting people based on their license plates won’t do us any good,” said McDonald.

“Except in the most extreme circumstances, we have no authority to control the movement of US citizens within our borders, and frankly, I am concerned about the number of people who are willing to hand over their rights to the government.”

The Knox County Sheriff’s Office warned that restricting someone’s movement was a “potential violation of the law.” If you suspect that someone is infected with the corona virus and do not follow the rules, you should contact the police.

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