Supporters of the Staten Island bar owners who defied Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s coronavirus restrictions slammed comedian Pete Davidson for mocking his own neighbors on Saturday Night Live.
Danny Presti and Keith McAlarney, the co-owners of Mac’s Public House, made national headlines last week for breaking curfew, serving patrons indoors and declaring their bar was a COVID-19 restriction ‘autonomous zone’.
Co-owner Presti, 34, was arrested early Sunday after deputies found the bar was still up and running despite notices to shut down. He allegedly struck a deputy when he tried to drive away from the scene.
On Monday at a press conference, supporters for Presti and McAlarney blasted Davidson for calling them ‘babies’ for protesting COVID-19 restrictions during Saturday’s SNL episode.
‘The ignorance level is so high now that you have mega-millionaires in the national spotlight like the folks on Saturday Night Live…making fun of their friends and local business owners who are broke, and crushed and bankrupt,’ community activist John Tabacco said.
Supporters of the owners of Mac’s Public House in Staten Island blasted Pete Davidson for making fun of them on Saturday Night Live. ‘The ignorance level is so high now that you have mega-millionaires in the national spotlight like the folks on Saturday Night Live…making fun of their friends and local business owners who are broke, and crushed and bankrupt,’ community activist John Tabacco said at a press conference Monday
Presti (above), who was arrested early Sunday and released, said Monday: ‘I have nothing but respect for the NYPD and other law enforcement. I think that you will find at the end of the investigation that I did nothing wrong’
In the latest episode of Saturday Night Live comedian Pete Davidson (pictured) called the owners of the bar and their supporters ‘babies’ for violating COVID-19 restrictions
‘Instead of coming down here as fellow Staten Islanders and standing up for them bringing a positive light on this thing, what they want to do is go on national television and try to humiliate the little man when he’s down. And to me that’s quite disgusting,’ Tabacco added.
In the press conference Presti defended himself against the Sunday arrest saying: ‘I have nothing but respect for the NYPD and other law enforcement. I think that you will find at the end of the investigation that I did nothing wrong.’
On Saturday Davidson took direct aim at his hometown when protests and rallies took place outside the bar in support of keeping it open amid lockdowns.
‘I saw the protests, people were outside the bar shouting about freedom, talking to cops, chanting that they should arrest the governor so I just assumed that it was a typical last call,’ Davidson joked.
He pointed out that the pub is located in an area with surging coronavirus infections.
‘Well the bar, shockingly, is in a neighborhood with the second-highest COVID infections in all of New York, so the rule is that they’re only supposed to let people eat or drink outside,’ Davidson said.
‘And the owner said, no one wants to do that because they’ll go out of business.
‘But the argument that people in Staten Island don’t want to drink outside can be disproven by going to literally any Little League game.’
Presti and McAlarney’s lawyer Lou Gelormino (above) said Monday: ‘Maybe Saturday Night Live should be mocking the people that looted and rioted our great city of Manhattan and the rest of the great cities of this country’
Danny Presti (center), owner of Mac’s Public House, has been arrested twice in just six days outside the embattled restaurant. Pictured being taken away in handcuffs on Tuesday December 1 for serving patrons at his bar in violation of city and state closures
Large crowds gathered outside of Mac’s Public House last week to support its effort to stay open and defy coronavirus restrictions
People gathered outside of the restaurant Mac’s Public House for a rally against state and city mandates to stop indoor dining to control the spread of the coronavirus, in Staten Island, New York on December 2
The Staten Island bar was the site of protests last week, pictured, after the sheriff’s office said plainclothes officers were able to go inside and order food and beverages on Tuesday. Presti was arrested at the time
When Weekend Update co-host Colin Jost suggested Davidson found the protests ‘frustrating,’ he readily agreed.
‘Yeah, they’re making us look like babies!’ Davidson said. ‘You know it’s bad when people in Boston are like, “Ahh, drink at home, you queers!”‘
Davidson, who previously received backlash for mocking Staten Island, added that he’s ‘kind of’ against the protests, but at least he’s ‘no longer the first thing people think of when they say, “what’s the worst thing about Staten Island?”‘
At Monday’s press conference Tabacco said he was family friends with Davidson’s family.
‘The King of Staten Island’s dad was a proud fireman and a great friend of mine and I saw Staten Islanders heavily come out and support him and his mom, his family and everyone else in a time of need after 9/11 when I cried for his father,’ he said citing Davidson’s recent movie based on his life entitled King of Staten Island.
Gov. Cuomo also blasted the Staten Island bar owners for defying coronavirus safety measures as the cases only continue surging across the state and country. He said Monday: ‘You don’t assault a police officer. They are defending a person who drove his car into a law enforcement officer, drove 100 yards with a law enforcement officer clinging to the hood for his life and that’s who they are championing’
‘So when I hear stuff like this it hits me emotionally when I think wow if you came out of your perch in your affluent neighborhood and came down here and told the liberal left this is a good thing because it’s about our freedom and liberty, we probably wouldn’t be standing here today talking about a political prisoner,’ he added.
Presti and McAlarney’s lawyer Lou Gelormino said Monday: ‘Maybe Saturday Night Live should be mocking the people that looted and rioted our great city of Manhattan and the rest of the great cities of this country.’
In last week’s saga of events Presti was first arrested on Tuesday December 1 for ignoring orders to stop serving customers and operating without a license.
Mac’s Public House falls into New York’s ‘orange zone’ where indoor dining is illegal due to a high number of coronavirus cases.
They remained open after the statewide 10pm curfew was made, served local customers inside when indoor dining was halted and continued even after its liquor license was suspended.
Presti and McAlarney bypassed the suspended license by serving free alcohol in exchange for donations.
After the arrest, Mac’s Public House was supposed to remain closed.
On Saturday night deputies observed patrons entering the bar in violation of city and state closure orders. The patrons had entered through a back door to order food and beverages, leading to Presti’s second arrest.
Gov. Cuomo also blasted the Staten Island bar owners for defying coronavirus safety measures as the cases only continue surging across the state and country.
‘Staten Island has gone from, the lowest death rate in the city to the highest death rate in the city. So all these local officials who are saying that’s right, we don’t have to do any of this, forget this, don’t comply – freedom. Yeah, freedom to die,’ Cuomo scolded.
He also blasted Presti for allegedly harming a police officer.
‘A couple of primary New York values. One of them was, you don’t assault a police officer. They are defending a person who drove his car into a law enforcement officer, drove 100 yards with a law enforcement officer clinging to the hood for his life and that’s who they are championing,’ Cuomo said.
‘When you have someone who drives their car into someone, could have killed him. Hospitalizes him, how dare you, what signal are you sending, when you glamorize that type of behavior…Congratulations, you represented your people well,’ he added.
‘We went from the lowest death rate in the city to the highest death rate in the city because of my advice. Congratulations. Congratulations. No – it’s repugnant to the values of any real New Yorker. You never assault a police officer,’ Cuomo reprimanded.
On Monday Cuomo said that if the regional hospitalization rate does not stabilize in five days indoor dining in New York City will close. And the rest of the state’s indoor dining would go down to 25 percent capacity if it doesn’t improve.
So far New York City has recorded more than 339,000 COVID-19 cases and more than 24,380 deaths as of Monday.
Nationally more than 14million cases have been reported and more than 282,000 deaths.