Belligerent Surfer Fined $1K for Ignoring Virus Closure

Many beaches in California are closed due to COVID-19
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 30, 2020 10:15 AM CDT
Surfer Refuses to Leave Closed Beach, Gets Fined
Storm clouds hang low over Manhattan Beach, Calif., on May 19, 2019.   (AP Photo/John Antczak)

Much of California's coastline is closed amid the coronavirus pandemic—but on Saturday morning, a surfer who apparently really needed his fix was fined $1,000 for ignoring the rules, the Los Angeles Times reports. A Los Angeles County lifeguard at Manhattan Beach ordered the man to stay out of the water, to which he replied, per the Easy Reader: "Go ahead and arrest me." The lifeguard says the man then threw out some "colorful language" before heading into the waves. The lifeguard called his supervisor, who called police. A cop arrived with a code enforcement officer, who issued the citation.

"Lifeguards are just as disappointed as everyone else to see the beaches closed," the lifeguard captain says. "The beach is our home, where we play and where we work. But it's for the common good and it's temporary." He notes the beach had already been cleared by police speaking over bullhorns that morning before the lone surfer arrived around 11am. But a local police sergeant tells the Orange County Register the surfer was the exception to the rule. "Everyone has been very cooperative, it was just that one guy. Everyone else has been pretty cool ... I don't know if he was having a bad day or what." (More coronavirus stories.)

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