Manhattan Beach, a hot spot for surfers in California, has closed due to the current coronavirus pandemic. On Saturday, a surfer ignored the closure to go surfing and has received a $1,000 citation for his recklessness, reports The Los Angeles Times.
According to Easy Reader News, the surfer was told not to go into the water by a Los Angeles County lifeguard but chose to ignore the warning and allegedly became belligerent.
“Go ahead and arrest me,” the surfer reportedly told the lifeguard.
The article states he also used several expletives during the alleged altercation, which prompted the lifeguard to contact his supervisor, Captain Jeff Horn. Horn then reached out to the Manhattan police.
“The Los Angeles County code defines beaches to include the ocean within 1,000 feet of the shoreline, effectively banning not only surfers who cross the beach to reach the surf, but also those who arrive by boat, Horn said,” per Easy Reader News.
Horn also commented that lifeguards are equally upset about beach closures, but they are required to uphold the law. He seemed to agree with the government’s decision to close popular public areas, reminding everyone that it is for the “common good and it’s temporary.”
Manhattan Beach Police Sergeant Mike Sistoni told reporters that the incident was, surprisingly, the only citation issued. Police are mostly relying on voluntary compliance from residents but will enforce stricter measures if they must.
“Everybody else was in compliance. People have been pretty good about it,” said Sistoni.
Most recreational areas, including beaches, and nonessential businesses are closed to the public until further notice.
The Los Angeles Times also explains that in Ventura County, the sheriff’s department sent out cruisers to guard “the entrance to a popular trail in Wildwood Regional Park in Thousand Oaks.”
Lots of hikers flocked to the area on Sunday and were told to leave immediately before getting “arrested for trespassing.” State parks are also not allowing vehicle traffic, but the few that stayed open witnessed a surge of people trying to go to the park.
Many people are experiencing cabin fever right now due to the strict quarantine, and social distancing measures are in effect across the country to help flatten the curve and prevent the coronavirus from becoming any worse.
Those who don’t want to stay at home believe they are safe going to the beach or other outdoor areas because it is not an enclosed space. However, officials have pointed out that if everyone thinks that way, it will make social distancing impossible to implement.