A Toronto restaurateur has been arrested for repeatedly trying to defy the ban on eating inside the city, even going so far as to break into his own establishment and open the door for customers.
Adam Skelly, owner of Adamson Barbecue, has reportedly been charged with mischief and obstructing police – in addition to a few other crimes – in connection with his repeated attempts to defy Toronto’s current restrictions on coronaviruses for restaurant owners and bars, which were extended until mid-December, following an order announced earlier this month.
Skelly, 33, reopened her restaurant for the first time on Monday, reports the Toronto Star. He later boasted on Twitter that customers are expected to show up again Tuesday for illegal meals inside, in an attempt to “show [Toronto Premier Doug Ford] WHO runs Ontario. “
Patrons dined inside Adamson Barbecue again on Tuesday, though Toronto police responded, the Star reports. The public health department subsequently closed the restaurant at the end of its working day, according to the outlet.
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Skelly reopened again on Wednesday, with crowds of supporters and protesters lining up outside the restaurant. In response, officials changed the locks on Thursday morning.
Skelly, however, arrived at the restaurant on Thursday and told Toronto reporter Sun Joe Warmington that he intended to reopen for lunch that day. (He previously wrote on Twitter that he was actively researching a locksmith to meet him at the restaurant.)
Later that day, Skelly was “allowed to enter a part of the building, where there is no access to the restaurant, to obtain personal effects,” according to Toronto communications officer Brad Ross, as reported by the Star. But from there, Skelly and her employees pierced a wall separating that area from the dining room (footage of this was shared on a friend’s Facebook account) and allowed customers to enter while the police were trying to hold back the crowd.
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Skelly was eventually taken from his restaurant in handcuffs and is due to appear in a bail hearing Friday, the Toronto Sun reports.
He faces multiple charges including trespassing, obstructing police, and violating provincial COVID-19 restrictions, among others. Supporters have already opened a GoFundMe account to help with Skelly’s legal bills.
Another man has also been charged with six counts of assaulting a police officer, presumably during the turmoil surrounding Thursday’s events, the Toronto Star reported.
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Toronto restaurants are currently not permitted to offer in-person meals and can only operate for take-out, delivery or drive-thru, as per protocol established by the Ontario Reopening Act.