Pete Davidson called a Staten Island bar owner and his hundreds of supporters ‘babies’ for holding anti-COVID lockdown protests, but quipped he’s glad to no longer be the ‘worst thing’ about the borough.
The ‘King of Staten Island’ star took direct aim at his hometown when he appeared on the ‘Weekend Update’ segment of Saturday Night Live.
Davidson kicked off the segment by mentioning Mac’s Public House, a Staten Island restaurant where owners have declared it a Covid-19 restriction ‘autonomous zone’ and repeatedly flouted state guidelines.
‘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 said.
Saturday Night Live’s Pete Davidson (pictured) spoke out against the anti-COVID lockdown protests that happened last week in Staten Island
He went on to explain that Mac’s Public House, on Lincoln Avenue, was in an area with surging COVID infections. The neighborhood had been classified as an ‘orange zone’ after officials saw an uptick in cases and the positivity rate.
‘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.’
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?”‘
Danny Presti had declared Mac’s Public House an ‘autonomous zone’ after it fell within an orange zone because of spiking COVID-19 rates and was not supposed to be serving customers indoors
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
Danny Presti and Keith McAlarney, the co-owners of Mac’s Public House, have made national headlines as they repeatedly run their business in defiance of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s orders.
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.
Danny Presti (center), owner of Mac’s Public House, has been arrested twice in just six days outside the embattled restaurant
Sources said customers had been entering the speakeasy via a nearby address in defiance of the indoor dining ban placed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo
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
Cease-and-desist orders were issued, along with a number of fines.
But now Presti has been arrested by New York City Sheriff’s deputies twice in just six days.
Authorities on Sunday said that Presti ran over a police officer with his car.
Presti, 34, fled from his bar after deputies observed patrons entering the establishment in violation of city and state closure orders, Sheriff Joseph Fucito said.
Source told The New York Post customers had been entering the speakeasy via a nearby address.
Deputies say they had attempted to arrest Presti as he left the bar early Sunday, but Presti got into his car, struck a deputy and kept driving for about 100 yards even as the deputy was left hanging onto the hood, Fucito said.
Presti was eventually stopped and apprehended, the sheriff said. He was charged with assaulting a deputy and released on his own recognizance on Sunday.
Pictured: A woman yells as New York City Sheriffs stand guard outside of the restaurant Mac’s Public House at the start of a rally against state and city mandates to stop indoor dining to control the spread of the coronavirus, in Staten Island
People protest outside of the Mac’s Public House after closed it down amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in the Staten Island borough of New York City, U.S., December 2
The injured deputy was taken to a hospital for treatment of injuries. The deputy’s condition wasn’t immediately available.
And his first arrest came on December 1 after the sheriff’s office said plainclothes officers were able to go inside and order food and beverages.
Presti was arrested after repeatedly ignoring orders to stop serving customers and operating without a license. His lawyer said Presti was issued three summons.
This prompted around 2,000 protesters to wave American flags and ‘Open NYC’ signs during a rally outside of the embattled bar.
As of November 23, indoor dining was banned in that neighborhood of Staten Island after an uptick in positivity rates, hospitalizations and cases struck the borough.
Eateries were one of the hardest hit industries during the pandemic, with many struggling to remain open as the number of customers took a dive and restrictions on occupancy affected revenue.
Cuomo on Wednesday released a statement addressing Presti’s arrest.
‘This owner is learning that actions have consequences. Breaking the law and putting your neighbors’ lives at risk during a global pandemic to make a political statement is simply unacceptable,’ it read.
But Presti told Fox News on Friday that local restaurant owners felt abandoned by Gov. Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio.
‘We’ve pleaded with them to work with us and other small businesses,’ Presti said.
‘At this point…we are losing faith, and kind of lost faith in the ability for our local and city governments to help us.
‘We just need in some way to either be assisted or to get our places open and these state agencies and city agencies that come in and threaten to fine us or pull our licenses every single day, it’s not right,’ he told Fox News.
A GoFundMe set up to help Mac’s Public House has raised more than $80,000 as of Sunday morning.
As of Friday, when data was last updated, Staten Island had 252 new cases, three deaths and 16 hospitalizations. The COVID positivity rate stood at 7.58 percent.
New York City officials have classified much of Staten Island as an ‘orange zone’ or a ‘yellow zone’ in terms of COVID statistics.
The Big Apple has recorded 13,954 confirmed cases, 715 deaths and 99 hospitalizations over the last seven days.
The United States has counted more than 14.6million infections and a death toll of 281,000.