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Staten Island bar manager arrested after chase over ongoing COVID-19 violations

Staten Island bar manager arrested after chase over ongoing COVID-19 violations
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The manager of a Staten Island bar was arrested again Sunday after striking a sheriff's deputy with his car while attempting to flee as police attempted to arrest him for operating his establishment in defiance of local coronavirus restrictions.

Danny Presti, 34, was arraigned Sunday afternoon on nearly a dozen charges including assault, reckless driving and resisting arrest, NBC4 New York reported

The arrest is the latest in an escalating feud between Presti and local authorities, who have ordered all bars and restaurants to close after 10 p.m. in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

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Police said officers responded to Presti's Staten Island bar — Mac's Public House — early Sunday morning after seeing patrons entering the establishment via a neighboring business. 

Once officers arrived on foot, Presti allegedly ran before getting in his car and striking one of the deputies who had been chasing him. Officers were eventually able to apprehend Presti and the injured officer was reportedly taken to a local hospital. 

Before officers arrived on Saturday night, Presti spoke to local media outside the bar. 

"There's still sadness inside because we have to get everybody open," he said. "I get phone calls from the other business owners and staff of these places and they're still trying to figure out how they're coming up with rent this month and how to get their kids Christmas gifts." 

Presti has already been arrested once by police for violating New York's local health orders, arguing he cannot afford to shut down his establishment and he has a right to remain open despite coronavirus concerns. 

Hundreds gathered outside the bar last week to voice support for Presti and protest local health restrictions.