DLNR: Over 300 people cleared from massive Oahu beach party, only 4 people cited
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - DOCARE enforcement officers with the DLNR broke up a massive gathering Saturday afternoon on an East Oahu shoreline.
The DLNR estimates 300 to 400 people were in attendance at the Ka Iwi coastline party, but only four people were cited. The citations weren’t for violating Oahu’s COVID rules on gatherings, but rather they were cited for having unpermitted generators and sound equipment in the park.
The DLNR said they were more focused on dispersing the crowd, which took several hours. They’re also still investigating the organizers of the event.
“This gathering is a potential super-spreader event and it’s created an unnecessary opportunity for COVID 19 to spread in our community,” said DOCARE Enforcement Chief Jason Redulla.
Video of the event circulating on social media showed the beachgoers tightly packed under pop-up tents, mingling on the sand with not a face mask in sight.
There were reports of other large gatherings on Oahu’s North Shore this weekend. Enforcement actions there were unclear.
“I’ve instructed my officers, going forward, to confiscate any equipment or supplies used for these gatherings. If the loss of personal property, taken for evidence in criminal prosecutions, is not enough to get these people to start acting responsibly, we hope it doesn’t take their friends or loved ones getting sick or dying to wake them up,” Redulla said.
Critics said citing four people out of hundreds is a failure of rule enforcement.
“Where is the accountability? It is not okay just to cite people for breaking these mandates. We have to go a step further,” said Kumu Kawaikapuokalani Hewett of the Kapu Breakers Group.
Hewett said he’s very disappointed that many of the participants were UH students.
“When I speak of the I-generation, I get iMac, I get iPhone, I get iPad, I get I-dis and I-that,” he said. “Stop being selfish. You like talk aloha and aloha spirit. It starts with caring.”
Copyright 2021 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.