The co-owner of a Staten Island bar that declared itself an “autonomous zone” exempt from state and metropolis COVID-19 guidelines has been indicted for working with out a license — however he escaped much more severe prices that he slammed his automobile right into a metropolis sheriff’s deputy who was making an attempt to arrest him, prosecutors introduced Friday.
A grand jury indicted Daniel Presti, co-owner of Mac’s Public Home in Grant Metropolis, on Thursday on prices of unlicensed sale of alcohol and unlicensed bottle membership regarding the Dec. 6 incident, mentioned Staten Island District Legal professional Michael McMahon.
Nonetheless, the grand jury declined to indict Presti for allegedly ramming his Jeep into the sheriff’s deputy outdoors the bar — a choice denounced by Metropolis Corridor and town Sheriff’s Workplace.
Video from the scene completely obtained by The New York Publish confirmed the second Sgt. Kenneth Matos tried to dam Presti from driving away — solely to be flung onto the hood as Presti accelerates.
Presti, 43, allegedly carried Matos some 300 ft, breaking each the sergeant’s legs, earlier than he was arrested.
Presti, who testified earlier than the grand jury, was pleased with the choice, and is continuous to name himself a sufferer of Albany and Metropolis Corridor.
“It’s an enormous aid. An enormous weight has been lifted,” he instructed the Staten Island Advance on Friday.
“My muzzle has come off my face now. It’s very clear that the governor and mayor despatched out a squad to silence me.”
McMahon mentioned there was sufficient proof to slap Presti with the liquor prices.
“As has already been made public by his personal lawyer, Mr. Presti was additionally given the chance to testify in these proceedings and took benefit of that proper that he has underneath the regulation,” McMahon mentioned in an announcement Friday.
“After reviewing the entire proof introduced, the grand jury voted that there was adequate proof to cost Mr. Presti.”
However as to the grand jury’s failure to indict on the Jeep prices, McMahon mentioned solely, “Acts of violence towards these officers isn’t one thing we take flippantly.”
“My ideas and prayers proceed to be with the deputy sheriff injured through the efficiency of his obligation within the early morning hours of Dec. 6 of final yr in Grant Metropolis,” he added.
The incident started when a sheriff’s deputy posing as a buyer entered Mac’s and seen the pub was promoting booze indoors regardless of having its liquor license revoked on earlier allegations of flouting COVID-19 guidelines.
When the bar closed at 10 p.m., deputies approached Presti to subject him a summons — however he jumped in his Jeep and drove into one of many deputies, video of the incident confirmed.
That officer was recognized by sources as New York Metropolis Sheriff’s Sgt. Kenneth Matos, who was hospitalized for his accidents. The assault was captured on surveillance video.
Mitch Schwartz, the mayor’s deputy press secretary, denounced the grand jury’s choice as an “absurd miscarriage of justice.”
“The defendant is a serial scofflaw who nearly killed a uniformed officer – on digital camera – after fleeing the implications of his actions,” Schwartz mentioned in an announcement to The Publish. “His institution endangered New Yorkers’ lives in the midst of a pandemic. We’re a safer metropolis with out it, and the grand jury ought to have identified higher.”
New York Metropolis Sheriff Joseph Fucito mentioned his deputy was clearly the sufferer within the assault captured on video.
“The a number of proof movies submitted to the grand jury clearly confirmed lethal bodily drive was deployed towards a uniformed deputy sheriff for finishing up his obligation,” Fucito mentioned in an announcement.
“The alternatives of the Grand Jury are past my evaluate, however we stand by the investigation and actions of the deputy sheriffs regarding Mac’s Pub. Let’s be very clear, Mr. Presti isn’t the sufferer right here, the injured deputy sheriff is,” he added.
Extra reporting by Nolan Hicks