A man has been arrested after flouting the coronavirus lockdown rules and hosting 60 people at a bonfire, police say.
Registered sex offender Shawn Marshall Myers, 41, has been charged with violating the Covid-19 emergency order in Maryland in the US after police were called to his home on two occasions.
He is the first person in the state to be arrested for such a crime, according to reports.
Officers were first called to his address in Hughesville, on March 22 to reports of a large gathering. They were called a second time on Friday night.
A new emergency law in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic prohibits planned gatherings of more than 10 people.
Maryland had 1,239 confirmed coronavirus cases and 10 deaths as of Sunday, according to the state health department.
And Governor Larry Hogan has now blasted Myers' "reckless behaviour".
He tweeted: "A Charles County man has been arrested after repeatedly violating the executive order banning large gatherings and hosting a bonfire party with 60 guests.
"I cannot begin to express my disgust towards such irresponsible, reckless behavior."
He went on: "Let me repeat: if you are engaged in this kind of activity, you are breaking the law, and you are endangering the lives of your fellow Marylanders.
"State and local authorities will continue to take aggressive enforcement action as we work to prevent the spread of Covid-19".
Myers' criminal history includes a conviction for carnal knowledge/indecent liberties in Virginia in 2001, according to Maryland’s sex offender registry.
Police said in a statement: "On March 27 at 10:53 p.m., officers responded to the 15000 block of Lukes Lane in Hughesville for the report of a large group of people at a single location in violation of Governor Hogan’s emergency order which prohibits planned gatherings of more than 10 people in response to the COVID-19 emergency.
"When officers arrived, they observed approximately 60 people at a bonfire.
"This is the second time officers have responded to this house for a large gathering: On March 22, officers were dispatched to the house for a similar complaint.
"At that time, the homeowner, Shawn Marshall Myers, 41, was advised of the emergency order and he agreed to disperse the crowd.
"During the second incident, Myers refused multiple requests to comply with the emergency order."
The spokesman continued: "After conferring with the Charles County State’s Attorney’s Office, Myers was subsequently charged with violating the Governor’s order.
"The CCSO is reminding citizens of the emergency order and urging everyone to comply for the safety, health and well-being of all communities."
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