Going the Social Distance: Armed Vigilantes Block Neighbor’s Driveway to Keep Him Quarantined

Well, this is what it’s come to. In the midst of all of this COVID-19 chaos, Americans have fallen into one of two groups: those who have seen Tiger King and those who haven’t. But, also, they have fallen into two other groups: those who are adhering to the social distancing decree, and those who don’t give a shit about anybody but themselves. Unfortunately, when government mandates aren’t enough, some people take the law into their own hands.

Such was the case in Vinalhaven, Maine, when a resident stepped outside of his home to investigate why his cable wasn’t working, only to discover a tree had been chopped down in front of his driveway, essentially barricading the man and his roommates at home. As the story goes, a gentleman from New Jersey was renting a house in the small coastal town, but the license plates on his car revealed he was from the Garden State. Evidently, this was enough of a reason to incite panic for his neighbors. Even though neither the man, nor his roommates, displayed any signs or symptoms of coronavirus, the neighbors, who were said to be “heavily armed,” still felt compelled to quarantine the man.

Naturally, the dude was freaked out. As he was investigating the tree, a neighbor started yelling at him and other neighbors, again heavily armed, began to circle around him. He ran back to his residence and told his roommates what was going on, and the three men used a VHF radio to signal the Coast Guard and let them know that they were, essentially, being held hostage. When law enforcement arrived, the group of vigilantes was gone, but the sheriff said it was “apparent that a tree had been cut down and dragged to block the road.”

Now listen, we’re all for verbally shaming the people who ignore the decree to socially distance themselves from others. It’s just the responsible thing to do right now. What’s not responsible is descending upon a man and his roommates with fucking guns, cutting down a tree, and holding him hostage, simply because his license plates say he’s from New Jersey. And, really, wouldn’t you want to get people from Jersey to stay as far away from you as possible anyway?

Cover Photo: Charlie Schuck (Getty Images)

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