Gaithersburg teen accused of violating governor’s executive order

Gaithersburg teen accused of violating governor’s executive order

Police said social distancing mandate not obeyed; violation ‘attached to’ other charges

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A Gaithersburg teenager was accused of violating one of Gov. Larry Hogan’s executive orders aimed at encouraging social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic.

Capt. Tom Jordan, a Montgomery County police spokesman, wrote in an email Wednesday that a 15-year-old from Gaithersburg was in violation of one of the orders.

However, the primary reason police arrested the teen, Jordan wrote, was not the violation of the order. “The violation was attached to a number of other charges,” he wrote.

Jordan declined to give information about the date of the arrest, the teen’s gender or any other details about what happened because it is a juvenile case. He also declined to specify which order the teen violated.

It is not clear whether the teen will be formally charged with violating the order.

“It is up to the Juvenile Justice System to determine if they will face charges for violating the Governor’s Order.  That is not determined by us,” Jordan wrote.

On March 30, Hogan issued a stay-at-home order that prohibits Marylanders from going out in public, except for reasons considered essential, such as getting food or medicine. Hogan also issued an executive order earlier last month that restricts crowd sizes to 10 people.

Both orders carry a penalty of a $5,000 fine and up to a year in prison.

Police across Maryland have charged 14 people with violations of the recent executive orders, Maryland State Police spokeswoman Elena Russo wrote in an email on Wednesday.

She said there was one arrest in Montgomery County. It was not clear if state police were counting the one arrest as one of the 14 people charged.

Russo wrote that between March 24 and April 7, police in Maryland responded to 1,064 calls related to potential violations of an executive order.

In addition, police have done more than 14,900 compliance checks related to orders by the governor, according to Russo.

Dan Schere can be reached at daniel.schere@bethesdamagazine.com

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