Police: York Twp. woman first in state to be cited for violating stay-at-home order

Ron Musselman
York Dispatch

A York Township woman is the first person in the state to be cited for violating Gov. Tom Wolf’s stay-at-home order during the coronavirus crisis after telling troopers she went out for a drive, state police said.

Anita Lynn Shaffer, 19, was issued the summary citation for violating the state’s Disease Control and Prevention Act of 1955.

Shaffer was stopped about 7 p.m. March 29 by state police at Boundary Avenue and South Franklin Street in Red Lion, according to the citation.

She initially was pulled over for a vehicle code violation, state police spokesman Ryan Tarkowski said Friday.

“In other words, she was not pulled over for violating (the stay-at-home order),” he said. 

More:Police: Woman slaps customer for not maintaining social distancing

More:Target to limit customers in stores, supply face masks, gloves to employees

Wolf first issued stay-at-home orders for specific counties, which was extended to York County on March 27. He issued a statewide order on April 1. 

Shaffer is facing a fine of approximately $225, according to the citation. David J. Linton is listed as the arresting trooper, according to online court records.

>>Like what you’re reading? Not a subscriber? Click here for full access to The York Dispatch’s hard-hitting news, local sports and entertainment.

The citation states Shaffer “failed to abide by the order of the governor and secretary of health issued to control the spread of a communicable disease, requiring the closure of all non-life-sustaining businesses as of 20:00 hours on March 19, 2020. 

“To wit, defendant states that she was ‘going for a drive’ after this violation was in effect.”

The statewide stay-at-home order went into effect at 8 p.m. Wednesday, and troopers have issued just two warnings and no citations since that time, Tarkowski said.

“At this time, law enforcement is focused on ensuring that residents are aware of the order and informing the public of social distancing practices,” he said.  “While the order is mandatory, voluntary compliance is preferred.

"Troopers maintain discretion to warn or issue citations and the decision is specific to the facts and circumstances of a particular encounter." 

Shaffer had not entered a plea as of April 3, according to court records, but she told PennLive.com she pleaded not guilty and plans to fight the citation.

This story was updated to correct Shaffer's place of residence.

— Ron Musselman can be reached at rmusselman@yorkdispatch.com or via Twitter at @ronmusselman8.