A woman facing criminal charges in Hawaii after travelling to the state with a fake vaccination card featuring an embarrassing spelling error is wanted by authorities again after failing to appear at a court hearing.
Chloe Mrozak, a 24-year-old resident of Oak Lawn, Illinois, was due to appear before a judge via Zoom on Wednesday, but she did not show up. The judge has now issued a $500 warrant for Ms Mrozak’s arrest. According to the Associated Press, she is not being represented by the public defender’s office, and it remains unclear if she has hired an attorney.
Ms Mrozak arrived in Honolulu on 23 August with a handwritten vaccination card reading “Maderna”, and provided false information to travel authorities including a hotel reservation that turned out not to exist.
She and her misspelled card drew public ridicule when she was arrested at the end of August, reportedly at a Southwest Airlines counter when trying to leave Honolulu airport. Authorities say they identified her by a hip tattoo they had noticed when searching for her on Facebook.
At a previous court session in early September, Ms Mrozak – appearing from custody via webcam – was asked by the judge whether she would attend all future proceedings if she was released.
“I promise,” she said, apparently in tears. “I promise I will do whatever it takes. I swear I’m not a bad person.”
Ms Mrozak was arrested shortly after a couple who travelled to Oahu from Florida with four fake vaccination cards, two for themselves and two for their children – who were too young to be vaccinated. Separately, a 57-year-old father and 19-year-old son from Los Angeles were arrested for trying to use fake credentials, with authorities alerted via a tip-off.
Like other US states, Hawaii has seen a record surge in Covid-19 cases thanks to the spread of the Delta variant, though the seven-day average of new cases has halved in the last three weeks.
With much of the continental US lagging behind in vaccination rates, authorities are under pressure both to enforce and tighten restrictions on travel to the islands, including by requiring pre-boarding proof of a negative test as well as vaccination.
Additional reporting by Associated Press
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