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Police: Man cited for refusing to wear mask on beach boardwalk

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    REHOBOTH BEACH, Del. (WPMT) — Police in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware said they cited a 56-year-old Lancaster man for refusing to provide identification after he was stopped for not wearing a mask while on the boardwalk near the beach on Saturday.

The Rehoboth Beach Police Department said on Facebook that masks have been required on the boardwalk since Governor John Carney signed a modification to his COVID-19 Emergency Declaration on May 22.

“Since that time the Rehoboth Beach Police Department has made numerous efforts to educate the public and promote compliance with the declaration,” the department’s Facebook post said. “Electronic sign boards were placed at every entrance to the city and signs have been placed at every entrance to the Boardwalk.

“Additionally, our officers have educated thousands and distributed face masks to over 3,000 individuals on the Boardwalk since May 22nd; however, yesterday our officers were faced with a defiant lack of compliance and subsequently issued the first civil citation associated with this regulation.”

The department said Saturday’s case went viral on social media, prompting the department to make a statement.

Police did not identify the Lancaster man involved in its post.

According to police, around 12:30 p.m., a seasonal officer standing at the Delaware Avenue entrance to the boardwalk observed the man approaching the boardwalk without a mask. The cadet informed the man he needed to wear a mask on the boardwalk, and the man allegedly told the cadet he would “have to follow him and make him,” police say.

The officer attempted to stop the man, but the man refused to stop and continued to walk onto the beach, according to police.

“The officer remained on the Boardwalk for a brief period addressing other individuals who were now upset and yelling at the man about his failure to comply with the mask regulation,” police say.

A full-time officer then arrived on the scene and accompanied the seasonal officer to the beach, where they found the man, police say. The officers attempted to get the man’s identification, but the man allegedly said he did not have ID with him.

He then allegedly gave police a false name and state of residency, police say.

The man allegedly refused to provide any further information to police and, after several warnings, was taken into custody, according to police.

“After multiple requests and various efforts encompassing an over an hour, the man agreed to provide his information, was issued a civil citation, provided a mask, and released,” police said.

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