A Kapa‘a man is facing terroristic threatening and harassment charges following his refusal to wear a face mask in a North Shore store, authorities confirmed Saturday night.
According to a preliminary report from Kaua‘i police, dispatch received a call at around 1:30 p.m. on Saturday after a 34-year-old man, later identified as Ryan Buley entered Kīlauea Market without wearing a mask. Buley allegedly got into an argument with an employee about his refusal to wear a mask, police say.
“He subsequently threatened to leave the store and return with a gun,” police added.
Buley left Kīlauea Market in his vehicle before police arrived but he was quickly tracked down and taken into custody. He was charged with terroristic threatening and harassment charges, both felony offenses.
The 34-year-old was released after posting $5,150 bail and is scheduled to appear in court in September.
Since March, state and county officials have asked Hawai‘i residents to wear face masks in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19, a respiratory illness that has become a worldwide pandemic. The state continues to address new cases daily with a cumulative case count of 999 as of Saturday. Kaua‘i recently had a spike in active cases as a result of two household clusters, bringing the total number of cases to 40.