An owner of a New York City bar that was providing indoor service in defiance of coronavirus restrictions was arrested after a sting in which plainclothes officers went inside and ordered food and beverages.
On Wednesday night, around 2,000 people were said to be outside the Staten Island bar chanting 'Defund The Sheriff', Cuomo sucks!' and 'USA USA'.
The tavern is in an area designated by Governor Andrew Cuomo as an orange zone because of spiking COVID-19 rates and was not supposed to be serving customers indoors. But the owners had declared the bar an 'autonomous zone,' a nod to protesters who claimed control over a Seattle neighborhood in June of this year.
Attorney Lou Gelormino who represents Mac's Public House, yells at New York City Sheriffs standing guard outside of the restaurant at the start of a rally against state and city mandates to stop indoor dining to control the spread of the coronavirus, in Staten Island, New YorkInsurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
People gather outside of the restaurant Mac's Public House for a rally against state and city mandates to stop indoor dining to control the spread of the coronavirus
Crowds shouted at deputies after the bar was closed after repeated warnings to stop serving customers indoors
The restaurant is in a section of the city with a high COVID-19 positive test rate which has resulted a suspension of indoor dining, but the owner of the establishment self-declared the establishment an 'autonomous zone'
The owner ignored pandemic regulations and was briefly arrested by New York City Sheriff's
People protest outside of the Mac's Public House after Sheriff's closed it downInsurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
It's believed around 2,000 people were gathered outside the bar on Wednesday evening
The bar has been fined thousands of dollars as it continued to serve patrons inside and to operate past the 10pm curfew for restaurant service that Cuomo imposed citywide.
According to Sheriff Joseph Fucito, plainclothes deputies went inside Tuesday and ordered food in exchange for a mandatory $40 'donation.' Uniformed deputies went in then and issued tickets for state and city violations.
For days, the bar's management were deliberately flouting the restrictions by offering free drinks while requesting 'donations' to skirt regulations.
Bar owner Danny Presti, 34, was uncooperative and was charged with obstruction of governmental administration in addition to the charges stemming from unauthorized food and beverage service, the sheriff said.
A woman reacts as people protest outside of the Mac's Public House
A man holds a copy of the Declaration of Independence while people protest
Mac's Public House's co-owner Keith McAlarney speaks outside of the Mac's Public House
Mac's Public House is located in Grant City, a coronavirus hot spot, and with hospitalizations surging, Governor Andrew Cuomo ordered indoor dining suspended there
For days, management had been thumbing their nose at the restrictions, even offering free drinks while requesting 'donations' to skirt regulations
A woman yells as New York City Sheriffs stand guard outside of the restaurant Mac's Public House at the start of a rally against state and city mandates
Pesti ignored repeated warnings to stop serving customers indoors.