NYPD Conducts Sting Operation Against Bar Owner Defying Draconian COVID Restrictions

Image Credits: @ScooterCasterNY/Twitter.

A New York bar owner was arrested after the New York Police department launched a sting operation against him for providing indoor dining services in violation of the city’s COVID restrictions.

Yes, really.

In the sting, plainclothes officers had gone inside and ordered food and beverages at Mac’s Public House on Staten Island, on Tuesday, and arrested the co-owner Danny Presti after he served them.

On Monday, the bar had declared itself an “autonomous zone” not bound to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s draconian COVID restrictions of no indoor dining and a 10pm curfew.

From the AP:

According to a release from 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.

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.

Lou Gelormino, an attorney who represents the tavern in its battle against the state and city, was there during the bust and was also ticketed. Gelormino told the Staten Island Advance that Presti was arrested because he didn’t want to leave his business “and at that point … they considered it trespassing.”

Another attorney for the bar, Mark Fonte, told the newspaper, “These sheriff’s officers are ‘wannabe’ cops. This is what happens when little people get a little power.”

State Senator Andrew Lanza addressed a crowd of concerned neighbors outside Mac’s Public House after Presti’s arrest.

“This order simply says that they need to cease and desist,’’ Lanza told officers at the scene. “Nowhere here is there an arrest warrant, nowhere here is anything about arresting anyone on their private property. So I’ll ask, [and] you don’t have to answer … why was he arrested? I was told you would tell me why he was arrested and now I’m asking for that answer.”

“I understand that we feel very strongly about this,’’ he told the crowd. “I feel as strongly as you, I assure you. But by speaking loudly it gives people an excuse not to answer us. So, let’s not give them the excuse. If they don’t want to answer, they don’t have to answer. We respect law enforcement on Staten Island like no other borough.”

While NYPD officers are busy arresting desperate business owners, violent crime in NYC has skyrocketed thanks to Democrats’ defunding of police resources and COVID lockdowns, with double the shootings and a 30% spike in homicides compared to 2019.

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Andrew Cuomo and his artificial adversary Bill de Blasio has successfully brought the most powerful engine of commerce to a grinding halt.