4 men cited for ignoring Manoa Falls Trail closure to appear in court
MANOA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Department of Land and Natural Resources said four men were cited Sunday for allegedly attempting to enter the Manoa Falls Trail, which is currently closed due to hazardous conditions from a large landslide late last week.
The four men cited have listed places of residence in foreign countries. DLNR officials said the first three men were cited around 1:45 p.m.
Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) officers reported seeing the suspects going under yellow tape and ignoring numerous "trail closed" signs. When approached by DOCARE officers, the men allegedly attempted to flee, according to the DLNR.
They were later cited and identified as 35-year-old Vasily Shedalin from Russia, 31-year-old Martin Bessner from Denmark and 33-year-old Richard Peschke from Germany.
Then around 3 p.m., 42-year-old Shibo Ou of China was spotted trying to duck under the yellow tape before being stopped by authorities.
All four men cited will now have to appear in court where they could face fines ranging from $50 to $500, the DLNR said.
"You put your own life at risk and those of emergency first responders. Rockfalls aren't on a clock. They strike with no warning and it's pretty insensitive of people not to consider the danger they put their potential rescuers in," DOCARE Chief Robert Farrell said.
In addition to the citations, DOCARE officers contacted and educated more than 100 people in an eight-hour time frame about the closure and current conditions of the trail.
"People really need to take these closures seriously. Lives have been lost in the past when people enter into areas that were closed for the sole purpose of protecting them," Aaron Lowe of the group Na Ala Hele said.
On Monday, the group placed three additional closure signs along the road leading to the trailhead.
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