Staten Island bar declaring “autonomous zone” for COVID violation, owner arrested

On Tuesday night, city sheriffs arrested the owner of a Staten Island pub after ignoring several instructions to terminate on-board service amid a growing wave of coronavirus cases.

Following the raid on the Mac Commonwealth, the owners have declared themselves an “autonomous zone” exempt from the state’s orange-zone restrictions banning indoor dining. Covert sheriffs entering the bar covertly said they watched 14 people drink and eat at around 5:30 p.m. last night.

Officers handcuffed co-owner Danny Presti, 34, and issued plenty of fines to employees. In response, a crowd of about 50 people gathered to chant to protest the closure “casts Mac’s house.”

“They’re fucking rampant over the goddamn Gestapo,” said Scott LoBaido, a NYPD pro activist and self-described American Flag Artist. “It’s disgusting!”

– COVID bullshit! he sniffed another protester, according to Staten Island Advance.

State Senator Andrew Lanza, a Republican representative from Staten Island, was also on the scene to protest the arrest.

“We respect the law enforcement agencies of Staten Island as elsewhere,” Lanza told sheriffs. “We also have questions as an American citizen. You just took out one of our constituents, one of our neighbors, a business owner, in handcuffs. I asked why.”

New York sheriff Joseph Fucito said Presti was accused of obstructing the government administration after refusing to leave the bar. The table appearance ticket was issued and released that evening.

A bartender, chef and lawyer were also fined $ 1,000 and pleaded guilty to violating city and state orders.

After the State Alcohol Authority last week suspended the bar’s liquor license, Preseti announced that customers would be offered free drinks and food for the proposed donation. The SLA later clarified that this did not mean a “loophole.”

“COVID-19 does not respect autonomous zones, nor does the sheriff,” Mayor Mitch Schwartz said. “There may be consequences to endangering your neighbors in a pandemic.”

In recent weeks, Staten Island has seen the most cases per capita in New York. According to state data, 4.5% of those tested in the district were infected with the virus.