Police said they were called on Friday afternoon to reports of ‘several people with guns’ threatening one man who had left his home to see why his cable service was down.
In a Facebook post Knox County Sheriff’s Office said: ‘Deputies have learned that there is a general belief by some island residents that the Cripple Creek Residents are supposed to be quarantined because they came here from another state and could have Covid-19.’
Rep. Genevieve McDonald confirmed the incident, writing on her Facebook page: ‘There are two guys from [New Jersey], on Vinalhaven who have been renting a house since September while working on a construction job.’
McDonald said the men ‘were targeted because of their license plate’ after they came back from a trip to the mainland.
She added: ‘A group of local vigilantes decided to take matters into their own hands and barricaded these guys into their rental property.’
The three men used their drone to monitor the group at the end of their road until the police arrived, officials confirmed.
The workers are said to have been living on Vinalhaven for 30 days and do not show any signs of coronavirus.
Police say the group had dispersed by the time they arrived but confirmed that they did find the tree ‘cut down and dragged into the roadway to block it’.
They added: ‘While investigating the downed tree, a neighbor started yelling at him and a group of people showed up and began to gather around.
‘Believing the group may be there to harm him, fled to his residence and told his roommates what he had found.’
There are more than 250 confirmed cases in Maine state and three deaths.