Sheriff says the co-owner of Mac’s Public House should be in jail; the bar’s lawyers want the sheriff to resign

STATEN ISLAND, NY – A Mac’s Public House attorney is calling the New York City sheriff a “liar” and says he should resign after what Grant City bar owners and attorneys claim are “unprofessional” actions by his officers in the December 6 arrest of co-owner Daniel Presti.

The statements came days after a grand jury of Staten Island residents refused to indict Presti for crimes of assault and reckless endangerment resulting from the incident in which he allegedly presented himself to a deputy from the sheriff’s office while trying to escape arrest for braving city and state coronavirus. (COVID-19) restrictions.

Video surveillance showed the defendant being chased from behind, then eventually accelerating into an officer who was clinging to the hood.

Presti and his lawyers shared a different story on Monday.

“What happened that night was that I was being chased in the middle of the night down a dark street by people who didn’t identify,” he said. “In no way could I ever intentionally harm anyone in law enforcement.”

The sheriff’s office claimed on Monday that the officers, in fact, identified themselves as “police” and ordered Presti to “stop” – both as Presti headed for his vehicle and while the officer was clinging to the hood. of the vehicle.

According to the criminal complaint filed by prosecutors, the defendant made two left turns on Lincoln and North Railroad avenues with the deputy sheriff on the hood.

“Let’s be very clear, Mr. Presti is not the victim here, the wounded Deputy Sheriff is,” New York City Sheriff Joseph Fucito said Monday. “Multiple evidence videos presented to the grand jury clearly showed that deadly physical force was employed against a uniformed deputy sheriff for performing his duty.”

The incident was preceded by bar protests against municipal and state regulations as part of what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had deemed an effective way to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Mayor Bill de Blasio on Monday criticized the grand jury’s decision, saying he believed Presti should be charged with assault charges.

‘A BIG LIE’

Fonte – who was reached on Monday by the two bar owners and other local political activists – called Fucito a “liar” referring to him initially by telling Advance / SILive.com that the deputy had suffered two broken shins.

The medical records were then handed over to the defense by prosecutors who show the officers did not suffer any bone fractures, Fonte said.

Fucito said Monday that the sergeant’s injuries were misdiagnosed by an emergency room doctor, but the officer suffered injuries from which he is still recovering.

“Sergeant Matos is still out of a medical license from injuries sustained by Mr. Presti’s car attack,” Fucito said. “[He’s] the victim of a crime, an assault that uses deadly physical force and its attacker demanding the resignation of anyone is truly absurd. “

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APPLICATIONS FROM A COURT SYSTEM OF BIAS

In a written statement released Monday by Fucito, he said the grand jury’s rejection of an accusation of allegedly assaulting an agent is unusual compared to similar and past cases.

“The evidence was of equal or greater caliber than other similar fatal attacks in which criminal charges were obtained,” Fucito said.

After Presti’s arrest in December, court documents showed that the Richmond County District Attorney’s Office agreed to release Presti upon his acknowledgment. The prosecution judge agreed and Presti was present at a press conference the next day outside the bar.

Public advocates of the city’s Legal Aid Society contested the fact that no bail was issued, saying in a statement that the move was “another example of a disparate legal system that benefits white New Yorkers with means over black and brown New Yorkers. “.

“Legal aid clients facing similar or even minor charges are almost guaranteed they will face extortion bail and remand at Rikers Island or another city jail, especially when a law enforcement member accuses them of injury. personal, “they said.

The owners and their legal team were asked about these claims Monday, echoed by dozens of Staten Island residents over the past few weeks on social media and SILive.com.

Keith McAlarney, a business partner of Presti, said this specific problem is different, saying it is not a “black and white” problem, but an “American” problem.

“Not about that,” he said. “This has been highlighted by you guys in the media.”

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While the grand jury refused to indict the assault charges, it indicted Presti on minor charges relating to his business which remains open against municipal and state regulations, including unlicensed selling of alcohol.

District Attorney Michael E. McMahon said in a recent statement that he intends to pursue these charges.

“I can assure the Staten Islanders that we intend to pursue these allegations and that we will try to hold this defendant accountable under the law.”

He went on to say, “The acts of violence against these officers are not something we take lightly, and my thoughts and prayers continue to be with the deputy sheriff.”

TOPIC FOR STAYING OPEN

In the hours leading up to the arrest, undercover deputies from the sheriff’s office who entered the establishment reported that several patrons were socializing indoors without masks.

Presti said Monday he was never worried about anyone contracting the virus, partly based on cleaning protocols and temperature controls in place. “Because we’re safe here and we know how to be,” he said Monday.

McAlarney cited Governor Andrew Cuomo’s statements in December that restaurants and bars accounted for 1.43% of COVID-19 cases recorded between September through the end of November, according to contact tracking data.

A spokesperson for Cuomo’s office responded on Monday, citing a September report from the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention that said there was a greater risk of contracting the virus in bars. And the fact that that number is so low in New York can at least in part be attributed to the security protocols imposed by the state government.

The spokesperson also said that by the time Mac’s was ordered to stop dining indoors, city health officials reported a higher death and infection rate on Staten Island than in other New York neighborhoods.

At the time of the protests outside the Mac, supporters of the bar backed this point, saying it made no sense that bars and restaurants within a few miles could remain open due to varying levels of restrictions.

“But ‘we’ll shut you down,'” McAlarney said Monday, implying that his bar was being unfairly targeted by city and state officials.

Via: www.silive.com

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