Man flees quarantine

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Department of Public Safety officers in hazmat suits arrest freelance photographer David Butterfield who walked out of the Kanoa Quarantine Facility

Department of Public Safety officers in hazmat suits arrest freelance photographer David Butterfield who walked out of the Kanoa Quarantine Facility six days into his mandatory quarantine. A video of his arrest is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tNeTyBnn9Aw (KIMBERLY B. ESMORES)

The Department of Public Safety arrested a man yesterday after he fled the Kanoa Resort quarantine facility six days into his mandatory quarantine.

Freelance photographer David Butterfield, who arrived from Guam on Oct. 12, 2021, was arrested around 11:13am yesterday after police pulled him over in the parking area of American Nails in Garapan.

DPS spokesperson Dre Pangelinan said that Butterfield will be charged and held at the Department of Corrections following his arrest.

Butterfield, who claims he walked straight out of the quarantine facility on Sunday evening, said in a lengthy post on social media just hours before his arrest that he left Kanoa because he did not agree with the COVID-19 Task Force’s quarantine protocols for non-vaccinated individuals.

“I don’t accept this. I refuse to be treated like cattle. I have better things to do than sit here eating food that somebody else paid for in a room that somebody else paid for, to protect vaccinated people from a virus I don’t have. I am not going to be violent or fight anybody, but I will not be kept here voluntarily any longer. If the task force thinks healthy people who have already recovered from COVID and had two negative tests with no symptoms should be kept locked up almost two weeks, then they can arrest me and make their case in court. Maybe that is the rule, but the rule sucks and needs to be changed,” he states in his post.

Butterfield also noted in his post that he is not vaccinated and has caught COVID-19 but has since recovered.

Press secretary Kevin Bautista said in a statement that Public Health Emergency regulations allow for enforcement like arrest to protect the well-being of the community.

“The Public Health Emergency regulations allow for enforcement. When a public health emergency is declared, an individual can be arrested if violating isolation protocols, for the safety of the community,” he said.

According to the renewed executive order regarding COVID-19 safety measures issued by the Office of the Governor, violators of the mandatory quarantine protocol will receive a maximum sentence of no more than one-year imprisonment, and/or no more than a $500 fine.

The entry requirement that took effect back last Sept. 24 states that all inbound travelers originating from a Level 3 or higher jurisdiction on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention travel recommendations list who are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19 are required to quarantine for seven days in a designated government facility if they submit a negative PCR test dated no earlier than 48 hours prior to arrival, or 10 days if they do not submit a negative PCR test dated no earlier than 48 hours prior to arrival.

Fully vaccinated travelers are still required to quarantine for five days in a designated government facility.

The revised entry requirements for unvaccinated travelers is based on guidance from the CDC.

Kimberly B. Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Albiso Bautista has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at kimberly_bautista@saipantribune.com.
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