PLUM ISLAND — Nine people face trespassing charges after being summonsed over the weekend for ignoring a Newbury police order to stay away from Plum Island Center and beaches to the south.
Local police say the nine curiosity seekers slipped underneath yellow police tape and gained access to the restricted beach areas. Most of the alleged violations took place Sunday afternoon with two violations occurring Saturday afternoon.
Charged with trespassing were: Alexandra Coir, 43, and Gregory Coir, 47, both of 2 Lancey Way, Newburyport; Diane Greenhalgh, 63, and John Greenhalgh, 61, both 10 Hemock Haven, Hampton, N.H.; Jeanne S. Arango, 52, and Jose J. Arango, 52, both of 75 Lafayette Road, Salisbury; Paul F. LaVallee, 52, and Katja Lavallee, 58, both of 14 Kings Grant Drive, Atkinson, N.H.; and Peter J. Maynard, 50, 15 Conduit St., Methuen. Issuing the summonses were officers Michael Croteau, Stephen Jenkins, John Regan and Sgt. Jay Routhier.
Police closed Plum Island Beach from the center south Friday afternoon, citing fears that houses teetering on the edge of collapse could injure beachgoers.
“It’s just a dangerous, dangerous area,” Deputy Chief John Lucey Jr. said.
Lucey said there was no way those summonsed could have not known the beach areas were closed. In addition to electronic message signs alerting motorists entering Plum Island and Plum Island Center that they could be arrested for going on the beach, yards and yards of yellow tape have been strung along the perimeter of the closed-off areas, which extends for about two-thirds of a mile.
“It’s just all over the place, but we still have people sneaking through. The public needs to know that’s the line. If you cross it, you’re subject to arrest. There’s no excuse,” Lucey said.
Lucey warned that police would continue to charge those ignoring the beach closures.
“Let us do our jobs, let’s just focus on those people who have lost their homes,” Lucey said.
Those hoping to see the beaches reopen anytime soon are likely to be disappointed, as Lucey said the task of removing debris, shoring up precariously located houses and removing those homes past the point of no return won’t happen overnight.
“Whether that’s going to be in two days or two weeks, I really don’t know,” Lucey said.