NEW YORK – A pub owner on Staten Island hit his jeep at a deputy sheriff in a desperate attempt to avoid arrest early Sunday for continuing to serve patrons despite coronavirus restrictions, authorities said.
Daniel Presti, the owner of Mac’s pub, jumped into his turquoise jeep and hit the fuel, sending a deputy to fly on the hood just after midnight when officers tried to arrest him in front of his bar, officials said.
The sheriff’s deputy, identified by sources as a sergeant. Kenneth Matos, suffered two tibial fractures. He was taken to Staten Island University Hospital.
“He just doesn’t care about people’s lives. It all comes down to that, ”said Bill Neidhardt, a spokesman for Mayor Bill de Blasio, on Sunday.
“He doesn’t care if his pub spreads a deadly virus. He doesn’t care if the uniformed policeman stays on the hood of his car for life. It’s really horrible and unacceptable, and New Yorkers will reject this disgusting way of thinking. “
The New York Sheriff’s Office conducted surveillance Saturday night at the bar, which was a gathering place for people angry over COVID restrictions.
Despite the darkened windows that obscured the view inside the bar, lawmakers noted that security guards were ushered into an adjoining closed building and then ushered through the back door into a pub where alcohol and food are served without masks, officials said.
The sheriff’s office watched as the guards entered and exited through the side building, led by a woman working for the pub. At around 10pm, 30 security guards were seen exiting the bar through a side building, officials said.
Mac’s Pub closed on Monday and its liquor license was revoked after Presti continued to serve alcohol and food inside a bar located in the orange zone where restaurants are only allowed to serve dining outdoors or with food due to the rise in COVID -19 cases.
In an attempt to circumvent the regulations on alcohol permits, the pub posted a video stating that it would remain open, but serve alcohol for free, taking only donations. However, restaurants and bars need alcoholic beverages to serve alcohol, even if it is free.
With enough evidence that the pub had not followed COVID-19 guidelines, the sheriff waited until Presti came out after Sunday at midnight.
Heading for their parked Jeep, the two deputies recognized each other and stopped Presti, shouting “Presti,” but the bar owner fled, jumped into his vehicle and hit the gasoline, officials said.
Presti allegedly ran into a deputy, who overturned over the bumper and clung to the hood as the bar owner drove his vehicle three blocks, making two turns to the left before officers stopped him, officials said.
“The defendant ran to his motor vehicle … and deliberately and with perverted indifference to human life hit Sergeant Matos,” the criminal report states.
He was arrested and taken to station 122.
Presti’s attorney, Mark Fonte, said he saw no evidence to support the sheriff’s allegations.
“How does something escalate from making burgers to attacking?” Fonte said. “Only slaps could escalate her like this.”
Bar posted a defiant message on Facebook after the arrest, which was later removed.
“The sheriffs hid in the grass like snakes and waited until Danny left to finally go home and rest! They had 6 secret cars that swarmed him as he got into his car, ”the announcement reads. “We will not back down! You didn’t scare us !! The world is watching and it’s time for everyone to wake up! “
Local basketball coach Eric, 58, who lives near the bar, said he was surprised by what happened.
“It’s not like they just single him out; it’s a rule to protect everyone, ”said Eric, who declined to give his last name. “I understand it feels a certain way, but you have to obey the law.”
On November 20, the pub declared itself an “autonomous zone” hanging with signs declaring that it would not follow the state guidelines of COVID-19. Bar also launched a fundraiser on Tuesday, raising over $ 80,000 in donations.
Tuesday’s rally drew members of the Proud Boys – and de Blasio’s condemnation, while local reactions were mixed regarding the rally.
“They (the rally participants) drank beer in the driveways of people … urinating in the streets,” Eric said.
But some of the same protesters from last week showed up at a bar on Sunday after hearing about Presti’s arrest.
“It’s crazy, it’s crazy,” protester Paul Grady, 57, said of Presti’s latest arrest. “It’s awful. We’re here to support the Mac, and this is simply out of control. Now it’s out of control.”
Proud boys, a far-right organization, have been declared a hate group by the Southern Center for Poverty.
Presti was released on bail during Sunday’s arrest at the Staten Island Criminal Court.
He is charged with assault with intent to injure a police officer, reckless endangerment, fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle, obstruction of government justice, resisting arrest, assault with intent to injure, threatening, reckless driving, failure to detain a police officer, and unsafe movement of a stopped motor vehicle.
(Contributed by New York Daily News reporter Shant Shahrigian.)
© 2020 New York Daily News
Visit the New York Daily News at www.nydailynews.com
Distributes Tribune Content Agency, LLC.