Surveillance footage has been released which shows the co-owner of a New York City bar running over a sheriff’s deputy with his car.
Danny Presti, who owns Mac’s Public House could allegedly be seen on camera as he tried to drive away from his Staten Island bar on Saturday night.
It came just as deputies were attempting to arrest him for serving patrons in violation of city and state closure orders implemented to curb the coronavirus pandemic.
Presti could be seen running hurriedly to his car, striking a deputy and then driving for about 100 yards with the deputy still hanging onto the hood.
Danny Presti, who owns Mac’s Public House, right, next to his lawyer, Louis Gelormino, left, both appeared on Hannity on Fox News on Monday night saying that he was ‘scared for his life’
Video released to Fox News shows Presti being chased by two individuals in black as he runs to his car
Presti’s lawyers say surveillance footage of the incident as seen by Fox News shows him ‘running for his life from unidentified individuals’ because they were dressed in dark clothing and Presti did not know they were law enforcement officers.
Presti can be seen getting into a vehicle as two other men, dressed in all black, run after him.
Pressti manages to get into the vehicle before the other two men reach it.
One stands in front of the car as it starts to move forward. The man can then be seen clinging to the hood of the car as it drives off.
Presti has claimed that the two men did not identify themselves as police officers at any point
As one officer tried the passenger door another officer could be seen clinging to the hood
The deputy had two broken legs but was out of the hospital on Monday.
Presti, 34, was arraigned on charges including third-degree assault, reckless driving, menacing and resisting arrest and was released without bail.
Speaking on Fox News on Monday night, Presti said that he was frightened and was making a run for it.
‘I was scared of the entire time. I was scared the entire time, from the ordeal that happened, I was running for my life because that’s exactly what I thought was happening. At no point did I think that those were sheriffs.’
‘Two big burly officers came out between a parked car from behind him and yelled ‘Presti, hey Presti,’ and started running at him. That’s what started the whole set of events,’ added attorney Lou Gelormino.
Presti is said to have told the men to move away but believes he had no choice but to drive off
As Presti stars to drive away, one of the officers can still be seen clinging to the hood
Another officer gives chase as the car drives out of the frame with the officer still holding on
Danny Presti, owner of Mac’s Public House on Staten Island, is escorted from the 122nd Precinct in New York after his arrest on charges of hitting a sheriff’s officer with his car when he allegedly tried to flee from arrest
Earlier on Monday, in a brief statement, Presti said he still has respect for law enforcement.
‘I think you’ll find at the end of the investigation that I did nothing wrong,’ he said.
‘The Sheriff officers broke every proper procedure for effectuating an arrest,’Presti’s lawyers said claiming the officers did not identify themselves.
‘If the Sheriff’s Office is to continue in their new role as law enforcement, I urge the City to provide them with proper training. Also, let’s not lose sight of the fact that this whole incident was over the illegal serving of a hamburger and beer.’
At a news conference on Monday on Staten Island, the Presti supporters said the governor and mayor were trying to ‘crush the little man who dares to speak up’ while trying to protect his small business amid the pandemic.
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
On Wednesday night, around 2,000 people were said to be outside the Staten Island bar chanting ‘Defund The Sheriff’, Cuomo sucks!’ and ‘USA USA’
They said that a team of sheriff’s deputies – normally involved in low-profile civil enforcement – swept in to arrest their client as if he were a dangerous criminal, and that the one deputy’s injuries were not as serious as reported.
‘I can assure people that he did not break his legs and I can tell you why,’ said Presti’s lawyer, Lou Gelormino. ‘Because Mr. Presti was released with no bail. If he ran over a sheriff’s deputy, they would have asked for half a million dollars in bail.’
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo called Presti a ‘coward’ and blasted those who are still supporting him.
‘How dare you?’ Cuomo said at a coronavirus briefing. ‘What kind of signal are you sending? It’s repugnant to the values of any real New Yorker.’
Presti is pictured after an earlier arrest last week for violating COVID dining rules
Presti had declared his business 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. He had already been arrested for violating that rule on Tuesday
Lawyers and supporters of Presti countered by accusing authorities of staging a ‘political ambush.’
Presti ‘should pay very, very serious consequences for what he did,’ Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a separate briefing.
Staten Island is much more conservative than the rest of New York City and is the only one of the city’s five boroughs that voted for Republican President Donald Trump in November.
The borough is home to many police officers and firefighters and is usually seen as supportive of law enforcement.