The Vinalhaven resident said he went outside Friday to check why his cable service wasn’t working and found a tree blocking the end of his road, according to the Knox County Sheriff’s Office.
The three roommates stayed in the home, where they used a VHF radio to contact the Coast Guard for assistance and a drone to monitor the group’s activity, the sheriff’s office said. Vinalhaven is an island town.
When law enforcement arrived, the group had fled and it was “apparent” that a tree had been cut down and dragged to block the road, the sheriff’s office said.
The residents had been on the island for nearly a month before the incident took place.
It’s not ‘us vs. them’
After a verbal altercation with a few locals who targeted the roommates because of their New Jersey license plate, “a group of local vigilantes decided to take matters into their own hands,” McDonald said.
“Now is not the time to develop or encourage an ‘us vs. them’ mentality,” she added. “Targeting people because of their license plates will not serve any of us well,” McDonald said.
“Except for in the most extreme circumstances, we do not have the authority to control the movement of US citizens within our borders, and frankly, I’m concerned about the number of people who are eager to hand their rights over to the government.”
The Knox County Sheriff’s Office warned that restricting a person’s movement is a “potential violation of the law,” and anyone who suspects someone is infected with the coronavirus and isn’t following the rules should contact police.