Protests Growing Outside Mac’s Public House After Owner Busted Selling Sandwiches and “Trespassing”

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This is infuriating on so many levels. As my colleague Scott Hounsell said when we recorded a podcast episode touching on this earlier today, what else do we expect when we (as a society, not RedState readers) give up so much of our freedom for (illusion of) safety? But, this goes beyond your garden-variety Paul Blart wannabe citing a business for staying open during “pandemic restrictions.”

Danny Presti was operating his Staten Island bar/restaurant, Mac’s Public House, in defiance of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s “orange zone” restrictions and offering indoor dining. Presti declared his restaurant an “autonomous zone,” an ingenious designation. But the local Sheriff didn’t think it was funny and decided to engage in some entrapment.

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.

Then, when Presti didn’t want to cooperate with this gross governmental overreach, they cited him for trespassing in his own business. Yes, you read that correctly.

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.

A crowd outside the restaurant jeered as Presti was hauled away in handcuffs.

The spineless Republican State Senator representing the area had this to say:

State Sen. Andrew Lanza, a Republican, sought to calm the dozens of tavern supporters who jeered as Presti was led away in handcuffs. Lanza said the bar owner should not have been arrested but added, “We respect law enforcement on Staten Island like no other borough.”

As this piece goes to press, protests outside Mac’s Public House are growing.

As of a few hours ago some protesters posted on social media that they were barricaded inside the restaurant and that their legal counsel – the same Sen. Lanza referenced above – were being prevented from making contact with them.

Shortly after that tweet, Tabacco wrote that Sen. Lanza had been “cuffed.”

Attention, Gov. Cuomo. The hardworking people who power this country’s economy are through with your unscientific public health orders and shutdowns.

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