NYC bar owner runs over police officer after defying coronavirus rules

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By Euronews  with AP
Mac's Public House co-owner Danny Presti being arrested on December 1 after continuing to serve customers
Mac's Public House co-owner Danny Presti being arrested on December 1 after continuing to serve customers   -   Copyright  AP Photo

The co-owner of a New York City bar that has allegedly been defying coronavirus restrictions was arrested early on Sunday after running over a police officer with a car, authorities said.

Danny Presti fled from his bar, Mac's Public House, after police saw people entering it on Saturday night in violation of city and state closure orders, Sheriff Joseph Fucito said.

Officers attempted to arrest Presti as he left the bar early on Sunday, but Presti got into his car, struck an officer and kept driving for about 100 yards even as the officer was left hanging onto the hood, Fucito added.

Presti, 34, was eventually stopped and apprehended, the sheriff said. Charges against him were pending.

The injured police officer was taken to a hospital for treatment for injuries - their condition wasn't immediately available.

The Staten Island bar was the site of protests last week after the sheriff's office said plainclothes officers were able to go inside and order food and beverages on Tuesday. Presti was arrested at the time.

The tavern is in an area designated by Governor Andrew Cuomo as an orange zone because of spiking COVID-19 rates and was not supposed to be serving customers indoors.

But the owners had declared the bar an “autonomous zone,” a nod to protesters who claimed control over a Seattle neighbourhood in June.