COVID-19 positive travelers arrested Sunday

LIHU‘E — A Wailua couple who boarded a flight knowingly positive for COVID-19 to Kaua‘i was arrested Sunday.

Wesley Moribe, 41, and Courtney Peterson, 46, were arrested and charged for reckless endangering in the second degree at the Lihu‘e Airport after deplaning a flight from San Francisco on Nov. 29.

The Kaua‘i Police Department said personnel working at the airport checkpoint were alerted that a couple was informed that they had both tested positive for COVID-19.

According to a preliminary report, the couple was instructed by the Quarantine Station at the San Francisco International Airport to isolate and not to board a plane to Hawai‘i. Despite that, Moribe and Peterson boarded a United Airlines flight traveling from San Francisco to Lihu‘e.

Once the couple arrived in Lihu‘e, they were identified and contacted by KPD personnel who escorted them to a designated isolation room for further processing and investigation.

A KPD spokesperson said both Moribe and Peterson were arrested for reckless endangering in the second degree “since they knowingly boarded a flight aware of their positive COVID-19 test results, placing the passengers of the flight in danger of death.”

Moribe and Peterson were transported to Lihu‘e Headquarters where they were booked. Both posted bail which was set at $1,000 dollars each.

Officers who processed the couple were equipped with personal protective gear which includes gloves, a protective gown and a combination mask/safety shield.

The couple traveled with a 4-year-old juvenile who was released into the care of a family member. Child Protective Services was notified, according to KPD.

“The Kaua‘i Police Department, working alongside our county and state partners, remain diligent in protecting the health and safety of our island,” KPD Chief Todd Raybuck said in a statement. “We continue to request visitors and residents alike to follow the Governor’s Emergency Rules and take all necessary precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”

Moribe and Peterson have not responded to request for comment.

  1. Michael December 3, 2020 5:08 am Reply

    United Airlines and all the other airlines should be denying the boarding of passengers who either have a positive COVID test or no test results in hand. These two traveling cess pools, knowingly (possibly) exposed the other passengers and crew, while demonstrating a total disregard for the safety of humanity. And as far as United is concerned, step up to the plate and do the right thing.

  2. Mikey December 3, 2020 7:40 am Reply

    Wow how disturbing. I can’t believe that these two morons were allowed by TSA to jump on a plane. They should have escorted them out of the airport and flagged them from flying. $1000 bail misdemeanor??? And the child released to family members. Wow that is stupid!! They should be charged for a serious felony and the kid should have been taken by CPS. These idiots possibly infected many people and were going to return to Kauai “Wailua” to infect us. Hopefully the judicial system makes an example of these whatever’s.

    1. riley December 7, 2020 1:25 pm Reply

      facts literal facts!!

  3. Susan allyn December 3, 2020 9:31 am Reply

    If this is true these people needed to be escorted off of Kauai forever!

    1. Kimo December 5, 2020 8:47 am Reply

      Hey Einstein- Your heavy sarcasm is misplaced. The $1000 was bail. Bail is not a fine. Bail (and fines, for that matter) are set by the courts, not the cops. Here, the cops put themselves in harm’s way to follow the law. Maybe you should be criticizing the state legislature, the courts, and Kauai’s out-of-control mayor.

  4. Joe Public December 3, 2020 9:36 am Reply

    Why was the bail only set at $1000? It should have been set really higher since they both are selfish people only thinking of themselves and not the others on the flight, or the people of Hawaii.

    1. nobody December 3, 2020 6:27 pm Reply

      The courts are letting almost everyone go. So are the prisons. Crazy, but I get it.

  5. Jake December 3, 2020 9:56 am Reply

    How in the world did they get on the plane? Since they somehow already made it to Kauai, shouldn’t they have been retested at the Kauai airport before being arrested. What if their original test was a false positive?
    Oh, and after they pay $1,000. bail money, it’s okay to release them.? What???
    Good thing the child is immune to Covid as he must have been in very close proximity to both of them and yet he was released to family members.
    Are officials not prepared to handle out of the ordinary COVID situations? COVID control, out of control.
    Sounds a lot more like Govt control than concern for the public.
    So glad they didn’t arrest the toddler and I hope the couple and family are safe and well.

  6. John December 3, 2020 10:50 am Reply

    So they take an international vacation at the peak of a pandemic, catch the Coronas, then knowing they were sick get on a plane straight back to a small island with only one hospital. And the brilliant KPD fines them only $1000 and release them back into the public. How does any of this make sense?

  7. Kauai Boy Mainland December 3, 2020 11:08 am Reply

    WTF is wrong with you idiots on Kauai already. Separating a 4 year old? I hope all you “covid enforcers and law makers” get the freakin covid worst than everyone else. You should be ashamed you fearmongering police state unAmerican parasites.

    1. Liz December 3, 2020 4:48 pm Reply

      I dont think its about fear mongering. Were a small island, its common sense.

      These people did an unconscionable thing, regardless of where they traveled to.

      Wrong wrong.

  8. Robin Clark December 3, 2020 1:26 pm Reply

    Well, that is one way to make the national news! Congratulations.

  9. dr jim December 3, 2020 5:14 pm Reply

    This was United’s response when asked by the reporter that originally did this story for SF gate to comment on how these people got on the plane.

    The airline also emphasized the importance of its health protocols. “The health and safety of our employees and customers is our highest priority, which is why we have various policies and procedures as part of a multi-layered approach to create a safer travel environment,” United said. “While we don’t require proof of a negative COVID-19 test before travel, customers are required to complete a ‘Ready to Fly’ checklist acknowledging they have not been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the last 14 days. “

  10. biden for 2020 December 3, 2020 5:23 pm Reply

    bunch of selfish moron… they should have thrown them in jail as an example of what a moron is…

  11. 1hawaiian December 5, 2020 2:52 pm Reply

    What is so different from ALL the other people that got on a plane WITHOUT A NEGATIVE TEST RESULT IN HAND. All of those people got here and could’ve been infecting people while they were on the plane or when they got to Kauai. But see there’s a lack of something ENFORCEMENT!

    Y u guys not getting all nuts about ALL those other people that brought coronavirus with them. Just because this couple was on the news now u guys care? Y u guys wasn’t at da police station telling them something? Cuz nobody knew what was going on until the news announced it days later after it already happened. but u guys making like this couple is da start to this whole pandemic on this island, no they’re not!

    Even if they didn’t come back what they was going do stay at da airport parking lot for 2 weeks. There’s a-lot of other things to think about rather than just “they going infect da whole island” They had to get through the airport in order to get on da plane but obviously NO ONE TOLD THEM ANYTHING which means people either not doing their jobs or they really don’t give a fuck and not ENFORCING ANYTHING!!!!

    It’s been trial and error since the beginning of all this. obviously the governor wants tourists to come back to Hawaii but we should just lock the whole state down and not let anybody into Hawaii. Kauai was doing just fine for how many months but it wasn’t until da haoles started coming back is when things started going hill.

    Everyday get new cases so it’s still coming to Kauai somehow. Until da planes stop flying to Kauai there’s nothing we can do to prevent this coronavirus!!!

    Maybe we just gotta stop everything and everyone from coming and just live off da land like 1 true Hawaiian like our ancestor’s did for years and years and see how much these haoles love our island after that.

    Even though this couple did what they did in 2 weeks wat u going do when u see him at big save? Scrap em? Tell em something? They did what they did and they have to suffer the consequences and there’s more than just them who’s at fault the airlines, the airport, the tsa worker, the cdc for not enforcing the list goes on and on!!!!

  12. Amy December 8, 2020 7:27 pm Reply

    It’s hard to believe that most of the comments on this post have bought into the FEAR MONGERING nonsense. TESTING POSITIVE DOES NOT MEAN YOU ARE SICK. IF YOU ARE NOT SICK YOU CAN’T PASS THE DISEASE ON.

    I have now posted the following 3 times on these covid articles. YOU people throwing blame at this couple need to STOP WATCHING CNN, FOX NEWS, MSNBC & all the other mainstream media companies that are all owned by the same people. You need to DO RESEARCH, YES, THAT MEANS SPENDING YOUR TIME DOING SOMETHING OTHER THAN WATCHING the narrative put out by the news media. USE YOUR COMMON SENSE.

    Again, Knut Wittowski, 20 year Veteran of the Rockerfeller Institute who SPECIALISES IN CORONAVIRUSES said the following in MARCH :

    *. There have been 2 previous coronaviruses, this one is no different to the other two and NO MORE DEADLY
    *. The ONLY WAY to do anything about an airborne virus is to develop HERD IMMUNITY. THAT IS ACHEIVED BY :
    :A/. allowing kids to go to school, they spread the virus around, bring it home
    b/. people at home catch it
    c/. Everyone acts as normal when they have Flu
    d/. Within 4 weeks maximum 80% of the populatoin will have had the virus or be immune = herd immunity.
    e/. Isolate the elderly who are the only ppl truly at risk due to the SAME RISK as when Flu goes around – develping pneumonia or ppl with underlying conditions


    COVID19 WENT ROUND KAUAI IN JANUARY & FEBRUARY. !!! Anyone who lives here will recall either being sick with what they thought was a bad flu or seeing others the same way.

    Any worldwide traveler will also tell you that ANY VIRUS OR FLU WILL LITERALLLY TRAVEL AROUND THE WORLD IN 7 DAYS IF NOT LESS. I used to travel worldwide for my job. I can assure you that if someone gets on a plane in Wuhan having been exposed to and carrying the virus, lands in London, they will be sitting having a Latte next to 4 ppl going to LA, 3 going to NY and tons going to Europe. THen the LA people are sitting in LA airport next to – yep, people coming to KAUAI. You CANNOT STOP AN AIRBORNE VIRUS.

    Why on EARTH do you think that shopping in Walmart with a Mask on and then walking to your car you are not traveling through air that is being used by everyone within 30 feet! The SCIENCE tells us that viruses travel 30 feet, not 6! It’s all nonsense.

    CDC SAYS THIS VIRUS HAS A 99% recovery rate for everyone except ppl over 70


    People need to START ASKING THE REAL QUESTIONS : WHY HAVE WE BEEN LIED TO? Why have we been locked down and had our Freedom taken away for something which is no more deadly than Flu? What is REALLY GOING ON?

    Do you seriously want our Keiki to be wearing masks all their lives? Or take a vaccine that is full of human foetal. matter & aluminium?
    Are you seriously going to just do what civil servants and people who do not have your best interests at heart tell you to without REALLY DOING RESEARCH? Something dark is happening right under your noses and you are too scared and too lazy to search for the truth.


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