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NYC bar manager allegedly hits deputy with car while fleeing arrest for breaking Covid rules

The manager of Mac's Public House on Staten Island had also been arrested last week for allegedly refusing to stop serving patrons indoors.
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Mac's Public House co-owner Danny Presti is taken away in handcuffs after being arrested by New York City sheriff's deputies on Dec. 1, 2020, in the Staten Island borough of New York.Steve White / AP

A Staten Island bar manager who violated Covid-19 restrictions was arrested early Sunday morning after he allegedly hit a sheriff’s deputy with his car while fleeing authorities attempting to take him into custody.

Danny Presti, 34, was arrested just after midnight when New York City sheriff's deputies came to Mac’s Public House after they said people were illegally dining inside, according to NBC New York.

Patrons were entering Mac’s — located in an area designated an Orange Zone by the state of New York, where indoor dining has been banned due to a recent Covid-19 spike — through an empty commercial space next door, the New York City Sheriff’s Office said.

After the deputies came to his bar, Presti allegedly fled, getting into his car and driving into one of the deputies, according to NBC New York. He allegedly continued driving while the deputy was holding onto the hood of his car. Officials were able to take Presti into custody and charges are pending.

“Danny has been arrested again!” the bar’s official account said 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 bar also posted footage of multiple squad cars surrounding a vehicle they said was Danny’s, saying “We put long hard hours to save our establishment and you bully us!!”

Representatives for Presti and Mac's Public House did not immediately respond to NBC News requests for comment.

Presti had previously been arrested on Tuesday for allegedly defying shut down orders and allowing indoor patronage at the bar. A massive protest gathered outside the bar on Wednesday after it was shut down. Mac’s Public House had declared itself an "autonomous zone" and said it wouldn’t be following the state’s Covid-19 restrictions.

"We will not back down! You have not scared us!! The world is watching and it's time for everyone to wake up!" the bar, which lost its liquor license after violating restrictions, wrote on Facebook.

Bar co-owner Keith McAlarney said he has to keep Mac’s open to pay his bills, saying the lack pf government assistance is making it impossible to feed his family.

“It’s time for all small businesses and every citizen, it's time to stand up and open up," McAlarney said, according to NBC New York. “We need to make a living."