New York City bar owner who provided indoor service in defiance of coronavirus restrictions was arrested after an injection in which plainclothes officers entered and ordered food and drinks, the city sheriff’s office said.
Protesters shouted as MPs arrested Danny Presti, the co-owner of Mac’s Public House in Staten Island on Tuesday.
The tavern is in an area designated by Governor Andrew Cuomo as an orange zone due to rising COVID-19 rates and was not supposed to serve customers inside. But the owners had declared the bar a “self-contained zone,” a nod to protesters who claimed control of a Seattle neighborhood in June.
The bar was fined several thousand dollars as it continued to serve patrons inside and operate after the 10 p.m. curfew for Cuomo’s food service throughout town.
According to a statement from Sheriff Joseph Fucito, plainclothes deputies entered Tuesday and ordered food in exchange for a mandatory “donation” of $ 40. Uniformed deputies then entered and issued tickets for violations of states and cities.
Presti, 34, refused to cooperate and was charged with obstructing government administration in addition to charges arising from unauthorized service of food and drink, the sheriff said.
Lou Gelormino, a lawyer who represents the tavern in its battle against the state and the city, was there during the bust and also received a ticket. Gelormino told the Staten Island Advance that Presti was arrested because he did not want to leave his business “and at that point… they considered it an intrusion”.
Another lawyer from the bar, Mark Fonte, told the newspaper: “These sheriff’s officers are budding cops. This is what happens when little people have a little power.
State Senator Andrew Lanza, a Republican, sought to calm the dozens of tavern supporters who mocked as Presti was taken away in handcuffs. Lanza said the bar owner shouldn’t have been arrested, but added, “We respect law enforcement in Staten Island like no other borough. ”
Presti owns Mac’s Public House with Keith McAlarney, who was not present during the enforcement action on Tuesday.