STATEN ISLAND, NY – The general manager of a bar on Staten Island, which has declared itself an “autonomous zone,” free from the state’s COVID-19 restrictions, was taken out of business in handcuffs Tuesday night.
Deputy sheriff said Daniel Presti had been charged with several crimes, including obstruction of government administration, and was released.
A video posted on the bar’s Instagram account showed it was taken out of its store.
Presti is the CEO of Mac Public House on Lincoln Avenue in Grant City.
The bar is in an orange zone where indoor dining is not allowed and there is a curfew at 10 p.m.
In an attempt to circumvent these rules, the Mac tried to offer free food and drinks.
The state last week deprived the bar of a liquor license and the city health department ordered the bar to close.
The State Alcohol Authority said that offering alcohol for free is not a “loophole” and that an alcohol content license is required to sell or serve alcohol.
On Tuesday, the city’s Ministry of Construction ordered the business’s release.
Despite the investigation, investigators said civilians in 14 clothes saw 14 people inside to eat and drink on Tuesday night.
Deputies arrested the Presti and gave employees tickets to violate city and state laws.
This led to peaceful protests by about 50 people outside the business.
“You’re not doing it selectively. You have these big boxed businesses that are open, earning billions of dollars, and these people, if they don’t survive, will go to nasty extremes, and it happens to happen, it will be worse than the virus itself. said Scott Lobaido, the protester.
There were no personal injuries during the demonstration, and no further arrests were made, according to MPs.
Mark Fonte, the bar owners ’attorney, told NY1 that officers from the city sheriff’s office showed up at a meeting between Presti and Fonte’s attorney partner on Tuesday night. The bar, according to Fonte, was closed at the time.
According to Fonte, Presti argued that he did not have to leave because the bar was not currently open to the store and therefore did not currently break any rules.
The accounts of Justin Izzo and Alyssa Paolicelli are included in this story.
Editor’s Note: An earlier version mentioned Presti as a co-owner. The bar’s lawyer said he was the executive director.