PALMER PARK, Md. (FOX 5 DC) - Maryland State Police say so far police have arrested 34 people for violating new rules related to the coronavirus outbreak. Eight of those arrests were in Prince George’s County.
Cpl. Nicholas Clayton says officers are making every effort to inform and educate people on new state orders before resorting to arrest.
“We’ve had eight arrests of individuals who still, after engaging them and informing them and educating them about what the "stay at home" order means, they still chose not to adhere to that,” said Clayton.
He said the first arrest involved a man who was part of a group soliciting at a Landover gas station trying to make money washing windows. Clayton said the group dispersed when officers responded, except for the one man who refused to leave and became combative.
He said another case involved two people fighting.
“Our officers are not going out of their way to pull people over and question their whereabouts or where they’re going,” Clayton said. “That’s not our posturing -- it’s absolutely not to throw everyone in jail who’s outside their home.”
Maryland State Police said from March 24 through April 10, police across the state have conducted 17,327 compliance checks and responded to 1,352 calls for service related to the governor’s executive orders.
State troopers arrested a Charles County man after they say he held a 60 person bonfire and refused multiple requests to stop having parties.
In Carroll County, police say a suspect hosted a hotel party with underage kids.
In Cecil County, a suspect pulled into a state police parking lot. Troopers say he was drinking and passed out behind the wheel.
In Queen Anne’s County, police arrested a pawn shopper owner who they say kept operating despite a warning.
There have been some rumors about how police are enforcing the "stay at home" order, and so the state set up a rumor control page.
One recent question was whether state troopers are pulling people over with out-of-state license plates. Police say that is not happening.
D.C police say they’ve made no arrests of people violating orders related to coronavirus.
In Virginia, state police are not compiling arrest information.