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A NJ license plate leads armed citizens to blockade workers with fallen tree amid coronavirus fears

New Jersey license plate (Eli Christman/Flickr)

A couple of out-of-town workers in Vinalhaven, Maine were confronted by an armed group of citizens who allegedly told them to quarantine on Friday and even cut down a tree to block the driveway to their property, according to the Knox County Sheriff’s Office.

Law enforcement officers “made contact with the complainant and discovered that a tree had in fact been cut down and dragged into the driveway to block the way,” according to a release from the sheriff’s office, but the armed citizens “had dispersed prior to law enforcement’s arrival.”

The incident led Maine state Rep. Genevieve McDonald, who represents the island town of about 1,200 residents, to issue a plea that people not waste the time of first responders during the crisis.

“There are two guys from [New Jersey], on Vinalhaven who have been renting a house since September while working on a construction job,” she wrote Saturday. “They went to the mainland and were targeted because of their license plate when they arrived back on Vinalhaven.

“There were some words between them and some locals and the conversation apparently didn’t go very well,” she continued. “I did hear the guys from [New Jersey] were fairly arrogant in their response. A group of local vigilantes decided to take matters into their own hands and barricaded these guys into their rental property.”

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