California Paddleboarder Arrested for Violating Stay-at-Home Order

Eva Marie Uzcategui/AFP via Getty Images

In case you were wondering, it is apparently not essential to go paddleboarding in the Pacific Ocean during a pandemic.

That reality was brought home to a paddleboarder in Malibu on Thursday, when he was arrested after refusing to follow a Coast Guard order to leave the water.

The man was arrested by Los Angeles County Sheriff’s for disobeying Governor Gavin Newsom’s stay-at-home order. The paddleboarder could face a fine of $1,000 or six months in jail.

According to TMZ Sports, “Beaches closed in L.A. last week after many residents simply couldn’t stay home and comply with social distancing rules.”

While debate rages over whether the ocean water itself can help spread the virus, the more likely reason for the beach ban is the large crowds that will accumulate on the sand or street/boardwalk. Still, neither the WHO nor the CDC has said that ocean spray or coastal breezes pose a significant threat of spreading the virus. Not to mention, paddleboarding is a solo exercise similar to hiking or jogging.

Why would a solo exercise like that be an offense worthy of arrest? Whether it occurred on the water, or on the street?

Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter @themightygwinn


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