RICHMOND, Rhode Island – In our current world of necessary isolation so desperate to find good news from the destruction and turmoil caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, comes this sordid report from Rhode Island a/k/a the Ocean State – home to 61 public and private golf courses all open for play.
According to the Providence Journal and WLNE-TV/ABC 6, three Massachusetts men were arrested by Richmond Police and are facing misdemeanor charges involving a fine up to $500 or up to 90 days in jail, for violating Rhode Island’s quarantine order after playing golf at Meadowbrook Golf Course on April 1.
On March 29 Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo’s ordered out-of-state residents to self-quarantine for 14 days if visiting the state for purposes not related to work.
In a news release from Richmond Police Chief Elwood Johnson three men parked two cars with Massachusetts license plates at a McDonald’s restaurant on Kingston Road.
McDonald’s employees observed the men exit the cars and transfer golf bags to a vehicle with a Rhode Island license plate.
The men left the two cars at the McDonald’s parking lot and then drove two miles down the road to Meadowbrook Golf Course, which, by state order, is only open to Rhode Island residents.
Police received a call Wednesday afternoon from the local McDonald’s, reporting that two cars with Massachusetts license plates had been parked there for several hours. At 3:15 p.m., police officers saw the men return and unload their golf clubs from the Rhode Island vehicle back to the Massachusetts-registered vehicle.
“It is uncommon for people to leave their vehicles parked there,” said Police Chief Johnson. “Kudos to McDonald’s employee’s for picking up the telephone and alerting us to this. It was clear in this instance they were aware of it and they were trying to hide the fact they were from another state.”
An investigation revealed that the three men, assisted by a Narragansett resident, had played golf at Meadowbrook Golf Course.
Richmond Police arrested 51-year-old Gregory Corbett of Attleboro, and two 22-year-old men from East Taunton, Tyler Pietrzyk and Nye Cameron, with violating Governor Gina Raimondo’s executive order for non-residents to self-quarantine for a period of 14 days.
Meadowbrook Golf Course is an 18-hole par 72 layout featuring rolling fairways and many elevation changes is considered the longest public course in Rhode Island charges about $40 to play. The hand-printed sign in the parking lot said: “COURSE OPEN TO R.I. RESIDENTS ONLY – LOT IS BEING MONITORED”.
Since Massachusetts ordered its golf courses closed on March 23, Richmond Police stated that they received numerous calls alerting them to the presence of out-of-town golfers.
Police said although Meadowbrook Golf Course had a sign posted, it will begin checking golfer’s identification.
The three were released at the scene with a summons to appear in court on May 14. If convicted, they could face a fine up to $500 or up to 90 days in jail.
A better title for this story is “BUSTED – for golfing in Rhode Island!”
File under BIZARE GOLF NEWS!