Party host refuses to shut down 60-person bonfire amid coronavirus order, MD cops say

Dawson White

A man in Maryland was arrested after police say he refused to shut down a party with 60 guests despite restrictions due to coronavirus.

Officers responded to a report of a large gathering of people in Hughesville just before 11 p.m. Friday, police said in a news release. When they arrived, they found roughly 60 people at a bonfire.

On March 23, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced that gatherings in the state would be limited to only 10 people to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Police asked the homeowner, Shawn Myers, 41, to shut down the gathering “multiple times,” but he refused, according to the release.

Myers was arrested and charged with failure to comply with emergency orders, police said.

It was not the first time officials had responded to Myers’ home because of a large gathering.

On March 22, police were called to Myers’ home for a similar complaint, but Myers agreed to disperse the gathering when officers reminded him of the governor’s order, police said. Then, the order restricted gatherings to 50 people.

Gov. Hogan posted about the incident to Twitter, calling it “irresponsible” and “reckless.”

“A Charles County man has been arrested after repeatedly violating the executive order banning large gatherings and hosting a bonfire party with 60 guests,” the post said. “I cannot begin to express my disgust towards such irresponsible, reckless behavior.

“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 #COVID19.”

Hughesville is roughly 34 miles southeast of Washington, D.C.