Staten Island Bar General Manager Arrested for Violating COVID-19 Guidance, Striking Deputy With Car

A general manager of a Staten Island bar has been arrested after repeatedly defying the state's COVID-19 public health orders and hitting a deputy with his car.

bar covid

Image via Getty/ Sam Mellish

bar covid

The general manager of a Staten Island bar has been arrested after violating COVID-19 health orders, allegedly reopening the bar, and hitting a sheriff’s deputy with his car.

NBC New York reports that deputies tried to apprehend 34-year-old Danny Presti after midnight on Sunday after witnessing customers access Mac’s Public House through a neighboring empty commercial space.

When deputies identified themselves, Presti purportedly made a run for it, getting into his car and driving into one of the deputies, and continued driving even with the injured deputy on the hood of the vehicle. Deputies eventually arrested Presti, with charges pending. The injured officer was also taken to the hospital.

“There's still sadness inside because we have to get everybody open,” Presti told the media earlier that night. “I get phone calls from the other business owners and staff of these places and they're still trying to figure out how they're coming up with rent this month and how to get their kids Christmas gifts.”

The bar also made a statement about Presti’s arrest on Facebook: “After a hard days work the sheriffs hid like snakes in the grass and waited till Danny left to finally go home and get some rest!”

The post continued, “We will not back down! You have not scared us!! The world is watching and it's time for everyone to wake up!”

As of this writing, the post has been taken down or turned to private.

During the course of the week, the bar has lost its liquor license, was issued orders to vacate and a cease and desist, has been fined thousands of dollars, and was the site of protests after Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued new guidance with micro-cluster rules.

On Wednesday, protesters got together outside Mac’s, publicly declaring it an “autonomous zone” and said it wouldn’t obey the state’s health orders. The bar resides in an orange zone, an area where all indoor dining is banned. However, bar co-owner Keith McAlarney has kept the bar open for the last two weeks despite the new rules.

“It's time for all small businesses and every citizen, it's time to stand up and open up,” McAlarney said earlier this week. “All small businesses stand up. The citizens are there, they want you open. We need to make a living.”

Latest in Life