Staten Island bar owner defies COVID rules again, hits deputy with car: officials

Staten Island
  • mac's public house staten island bar
  • mac's public house

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — The co-owner of a Staten Island bar that continues to flout coronavirus restrictions was arrested again early Sunday morning after allegedly hitting a sheriff’s deputy with his vehicle, officials said.

After a night of surveillance at Mac’s Public House, two uniformed deputy sheriffs approached Daniel Presti, 34, just after midnight to place him under arrest but he ran from the officers, got into his vehicle and began to drive away, according to the sheriff’s office.

Presti allegedly drove into one of the uniformed deputies, who was struck and thrown onto the hood of the vehicle. He then continued to drive down South Railroad Avenue with the injured deputy clinging to the hood, according to the sheriff’s office.

Presti drove about 100 yards before stopping his vehicle, officials said. He was arrested and taken to a police precinct, where he is expected to be charged.

The deputy sheriff who was struck by the vehicle was taken to Staten Island University Hospital for treatment, officials said.

The melee was the latest incident surrounding the controversial Lincoln Avenue bar.

Presti was also taken into custody by deputy sheriffs on Tuesday after an investigation revealed the bar was offering indoor dining and defying several other coronavirus restrictions despite being in an orange microcluster zone. Staten Island has the highest COVID-19 positivity rate in the city.

Bars and restaurants in state-designated orange microcluster zones are only allowed to offer takeout and outdoor dining, with a four-person maximum per table.

Despite Presti’s initial arrest and losing the bar’s liquor license, Mac’s Public House opened its doors to indoor diners again this weekend, according to the sheriff’s office.

On Saturday night, deputy sheriffs reported witnessing dozens of people entering and exiting a neighboring commercial space to gain access to the back door of Mac’s.

Once inside, food and alcohol was served to unmasked and standing patrons for a monetary donation, according to the sheriff’s office.

Following Presti’s arrest Saturday night, Mac’s Public House posted on Facebook vowing to remain open.

“We will not back down! You have not scared us!! The world is watching and it’s time for everyone to wake up!” a statement on the bar’s Facebook page said.

Mayor Bill de Blasio’s press secretary, Bill Neidhardt, commented on Presti’s second arrest on Twitter Sunday afternoon.

“Presti has been telling the world who he really is for days now, but last night’s incident made it crystal clear. Whether it’s flouting public health laws or ramming a car into a deputy, this guy clearly has no regard for the lives of others. That’s what it comes down to,” Neidhardt said.

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