Hundreds of New Yorkers descended on Mac’s Public House on Wednesday night—including members of the right-wing group Proud Boys, according to the New York Post—to protest the closure of the Staten Island bar.
Owned in part by Danny Presti, 34, the tavern was operating without a license and ignored COVID-19 restrictions, and Presti was arrested on Tuesday night.
“Proud Boys in the house,” was chanted, and Presti and an attorney representing the establishment appeared Wednesday night on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight.” Presti’s attorney, Louis Gelormino, told Carlson that supporters of the bar’s owners were peaceful. “No rioting, no looting,” he added.
Presti, released from custody on Wednesday, told Carlson about the arrest. “We had a little meeting inside (the bar) yesterday,” Presti explained. “I did have some guests in there. Sheriffs came in, seemed like a lot of them. We were really good with them. Really cordial. And after a while, they just wanted to take me out, (it was a) whole big ordeal.”
Gelormino and Presti said their problem is not the NYPD, which Presti said has tried to be fair, but rather the New York City Sheriff’s Office, which is separate from the NYPD and operates under the auspices of the New York City Department of Finance.
Gelormino said that while Mac’s Public House sits in an “orange zone” where indoor dining is prohibited, just across railroad tracks is a “yellow zone” where it’s permitted.
Among the protesters, CBS News found varying opinions. The area has one of the highest COVID-19 infection rates in the city. Some protestors wore face masks, while others did not. And, when asked whether this behavior is contributing to restricting businesses and restaurants, one protester responded, “At a certain point, like people on the left like to say, our body, our choice.”