Paddleboarder Arrested for Using Ocean During COVID-19 Pandemic

By Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber is a senior reporter for The Epoch Times based in Maryland. He covers U.S. and world news.
April 4, 2020Updated: April 4, 2020

A paddleboarder in California was chased down on the Pacific Ocean by sheriff’s deputies for violating Gov. Gavin Newsom’s stay at home order.

Lifeguards flagged down Los Angeles County Sheriff Department deputies on Thursday, telling them that an adult male was in the water and not listening to orders to stop paddling.

The suspect was in the water paddle boarding for 30 to 40 minutes before sheriff deputies brought in a boat from Marine Del Rey Station.

“Once the Sheriff’s boat arrived on scene, the suspect complied and swam to shore,” the Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station said in a statement.

An Instagram video filmed from the shore showed the man paddling away from the boat before he was caught by a lifeguard boat. A photograph showed the man in handcuffs, escorted by two sheriff’s deputies.

The male was transported to the local sheriff’s station, where he was booked and released on a promise to appear in court, deputies said.

Epoch Times Photo
Transmission electron micrograph of the CCP virus, commonly known as novel coronavirus or SARS-CoV-2, isolated from a patient. Photo published March 10, 2020. (NIAID)

He was arrested for disobeying a lifeguard and violating the governor’s order. The paddleboarder now faces up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.

Newsom last month ordered residents to stay at home except for essential trips such as going to the grocery store or a pharmacy.

A page on the state government website says that Californians can still exercise as long as they maintain a distance of six feet from people who aren’t part of their household.

“It is ok to go outside for exercise, a walk or fresh air,” it stated.

Many state beaches have been closed to try to prevent the spread of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as novel coronavirus. Lifeguards and law enforcement are working together to block people from the beaches, crack down on violators, or, in areas where beaches are still open, remind them of social distancing measures.

Epoch Times Photo
An aerial drone view of Dillon Beach, which is closed because of the CCP virus, in California on April 1, 2020. (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

A surfer in Manhattan Beach last month received a $1,000 fine for refusing to leave.

“Everyone has been very cooperative, it was just that one guy,” Manhattan Beach police Sgt. Mike Sistoni told the Orange County Register. “Everyone else has been pretty cool… I don’t know if he was having a bad day or what.”

Lifeguards contacted law enforcement when the man declined to obey orders to leave the beach, Sistoni said.

Video footage captured from the shore showed surfers being forced to leave the ocean except for the man who was ticketed.

California State Parks announced in recent days the closure of a number of state parks, including many in Los Angeles County. The system said last weekend it was cutting off vehicular access to all of the 280 parks in the state.

Related Topics