On Tuesday evening, the city’s sheriffs closed a Staten Island bar that declared itself a “self-contained zone” and continued to serve patrons inside in defiance of COVID-19 restrictions.
The raid at Mac’s Public House also resulted in the arrest of its co-owner, Danny Presti, who did not cooperate as officers issued several breaches at the pub for flouting city and health ordinances, said sources.
Dozens of angry bar supporters descended on the establishment as agents from the New York Sheriff’s Department carried out their order.
“Free Keith McAnerney now,” chanted the crowd, referring to the bar’s other owner – though it didn’t look like he was there at the time.
The angry crowd also shouted, “We’re going to disband the sheriffs!” and referred to Governor Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Presti’s lawyer Lou Gelormino told the Post the situation started off calm but ended with three summons.
“They [sheriff’s] were respectful and we were very respectful, and I stepped in and inside we were going to be cooperative, ”Gelormino said.
“Then 10 minutes later, outside, I started filming and that’s when they asked for my identity card, and they gave me three summons as that lawyer.
Presti is expected to be released from the sheriff’s office with an office appearance ticket, sources said. It is not known what charges he faces.
State Senator Andrew Lanza (R-Staten Island) showed up at the pub on Tuesday night, trying to calm his agitated supporters while seeking answers from authorities.
“This order just says they must cease and desist,” Lanza said. “Nowhere is there an arrest warrant here and nowhere is there anything about arresting anyone on their private property.
Mac’s public house, in a state-designated coronavirus hotspot, has been making headlines for refusing to shut down domestic services as dictated by restrictions that went into effect last Wednesday.
The bar had declared itself an “autonomous zone,” taking a page from anti-cop protesters in Seattle, Washington, who took over part of that city in June.
The establishment was also fined several thousand dollars and had its state liquor license ripped off.