Staten Island bar defies coronavirus closure, co-owner arrested after hitting deputy with car, sheriff says

The co-owner of a Staten Island bar who officials say has continued to defy New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s coronavirus restrictions was arrested early Sunday for the second time in less than a week after allegedly hitting a deputy with his car, authorities said.

Danny Presti was trying to leave his bar, Mac’s Public House, after deputies observed patrons entering the establishment Saturday night in violation of city and state closure orders, New York City Sheriff Joseph Fucito said. 

STATEN ISLAND BAR CO-OWNER SPEAKS OUT AFTER ARREST FOR DEFYING NEW YORK COVID-19 ORDERS

When deputies tried to arrest the 34-year-old bar owner, he got into his car and drove off, striking a deputy, Fucito said. Presti continued driving for about 100 yards with the deputy hanging onto the hood before he was stopped and apprehended, the sheriff said.

Charges against Presti were pending.

Mac’s Public House co-owner Danny Presti is taken away in handcuffs after being arrested by New York City sheriff’s deputies on Tuesday in the Staten Island borough of New York. Presti, who 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. (Steve White via AP)

The injured deputy was taken to a hospital for treatment, though his condition wasn’t immediately available.

Presti’s attorney, Lou Gelormino, told Fox News on Sunday that his client was arrested overnight as he was leaving the pub and spent the night in jail. Gelormino said he hopes to have Presti out by noon on Sunday.

Presti was previously arrested Tuesday night after the bar continued serving patrons indoors and operating past the 10 p.m. curfew for restaurant service that Cuomo imposed citywide. The sheriff’s office said plainclothes officers were able to go inside and order food and beverages at the time. 

New York City sheriff's deputies stand outside Mac's Public House after co-owner Danny Presti was arrested on Tuesday. (Steve White via AP)

New York City sheriff’s deputies stand outside Mac’s Public House after co-owner Danny Presti was arrested on Tuesday. (Steve White via AP)

The tavern is in an area designated by Cuomo as an “orange zone” because of spiking COVID-19 rates and was not supposed to be serving customers indoors. But Presti and his business partner Keith McAlarney had deemed it an “Autonomous Zone” in the spirit of this summer’s “CHAZ” enclave in Seattle.

Many businesses – particularly restaurants and bars – have been impacted severely by government-mandated closures in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19. 

Supporters of Presti gathered outside the bar Wednesday in protest of his arrest and Cuomo’s orders.

Presti told “Fox & Friends” following his first arrest that he wouldn’t stop fighting to save his business.

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“At this point,” Presti said, “we are losing faith, and kind of lost faith in the ability for our local and city governments to help us.”

Fox News’ Maria Paronich, Caleb Parke and Charles Creitz, along with the Associated Press contributed to this report.