Bronx native Tarique Peters made headlines last week when he was arrested by police in O‘ahu, Hawaii, after violating the state's strict 14-day quarantine rule.
Despite worldwide concerns about the coronavirus pandemic, the 23-year-old made it to O‘ahu on Monday, May 11 and quickly broke the mandatory quarantine, posting photos of himself to his now-deleted Instagram page.
"We appreciate the assistance of local people who spot flagrant violations of our emergency rules on various social media sites and report them to the appropriate authorities," Hawaii Attorney General Clare Connors stated in the release.
After his arrest on Friday, Peters' bail was set to $4,000. Peters' story gained traction online because he did little to hide his illegal activities by posting photos to his social media profiles and refusing to take precautions to protect himself or others.
As the number of headlines about Peters' actions grew, New York news outlets contacted his family in the Bronx to ask them about his actions.
The New York Post spoke with his mother, Marcia Peters, and his sister, who did not want to be named.
“He had no business going there. The rules are all over. I told him not to travel. I told him not to go. I told him to cancel all his vacation (plans) because he knows what’s going on in America and all over. Where am I going to get $4,000 from? I don’t know that he has $4,000. He ain’t rich like that. We gonna have to work something out,” Marcia said, adding that he currently attends Mercy College.
Here are some of the funniest responses to his mother's comments.
Most people highlighted how Marcia's response resembled how their own mothers would react.
A Black mama isn't going to have any sympathy for you when you get in trouble for doing something you know you ain't have no business doing.
— Ma$on (@FirstGentleman) May 18, 2020
"A HARD HEAD MAKE A SOFT BEHIND!!"
— I heard shouting and longed for inclusion (@vanderHOODsen) May 18, 2020
All over da world, black mamas are the same! They done told you and not gonna tell you again.
— To Whom All Blessings Flow (@NTRL_WMN) May 18, 2020
Besides his mother's hilarious comments, Tarique got a ton of criticism online for ignoring the pandemic and traveling anyway, endangering thousands of people and himself.
The carelessness people have for the lives of others during this pandemic is astonishing!!
— Tatiana Pasha (@pasha_not_nice) May 18, 2020
But the jokes were the best part, as always.
This man booked a flight to jail
— Avogadro Toast (@_ktbm) May 18, 2020
Traveling. In a pandemic. To surf. In jeans.
— Vex n the city (@VexNTheCity) May 18, 2020
His sister was a lot less harsh compared to her mother, criticizing police in Hawaii for publicizing Peters' arrest online and bringing unwanted attention.
She added that the family has not been able to speak with him since his arrest.
“Why put his information all over the internet where people are putting all sorts of threats next to his pictures. Something like that could lead to suicide,” Tarique's sister said.
Hawaii has strict rules about quarantine related to the coronavirus pandemic, forcing all visitors to stay inside for 14 days before traveling around any of the state's islands. The state has had at least 640 coronavirus cases and 17 deaths, the Star-Advertiser reported.
“You thought you were cute skipping out the 14 day mandatory quarantine and putting our residents in danger. Good for you,” said one comment on his Instagram surfboard photo.