The Knox County Sheriff’s Department responded to a home in Vinalhaven, Maine after men trapped inside the home notified the U.S. Coast Guard after armed vigilantes chopped down a tree and allegedly cut cable service to the home to keep suspected coronavirus infected me in their home.
The resident of the home went outside to see why his cable television went out and found the angry mob at the end of his driveway.
“While investigating the downed tree, a neighbor started yelling at him and a group of people showed up and began to gather around. Believing the group may be there to harm him, (he) fled to his residence and told his roommates what he had found,” the Sheriff’s Department said in a Facebook post that has since been removed. “Several people with guns had cut down a tree and were telling them that they need to stay quarantined.”
Three men who were staying in the home were from New Jersey and had vehicles in the driveway with New Jersey license plates. According to the report, the three men had been staying in Maine while working on a construction project since September.
Sheriff’s officers said none of the men needed to be quarantined as they had been in Maine over one month before the pandemic began in the U.S.
The men cut down a tree and moved the tree to block the driveway to force the Jersey men into quarantine, according to police. Maine legislator Genevieve McDonald who represents the district where the vigilante group targeted the New Jersey men said the incident was not something to be celebrated.
“Now is not the time to develop or encourage an ‘us vs. them’ mentality, targeting people because of their license plates will not serve any of us well,” she said. “A group of local vigilantes decided to take matters into their own hands.”
Authorities said the men were not required to be in quarantine.