Dramatic moment Covid rule-flouting bar owner 'drives into cop and travels 100 yards with officer on hood'

THIS is the moment that a Staten Island bar owner allegedly rammed his car into a cop after fleeing arrest early Sunday morning.

Authorities said that Danny Presti drove about 100 yards with the officer on the hood leaving the man with fractured shinbones.

Surveillance footage exclusively obtained by The Post shows Presti, the co-owner of Mac's Public House, running into frame and jumping into his jeep.

Two men are seen running towards the car dressed in dark clothes.

One of the men, identified as New York City Sheriff's Sergeant Kenneth Matos, reaches the jeep before Presi drives away.

With Matos standing in front of the vehicle, Presti begins to accelerate forcing the cop onto the hood of the car.

The jeep moves out of frame with Matos still atop with his partner running alongside the vehicle.

The 43-year-old Presti is alleged to have carried Matos 100 yards.


Mark Fonte, a member of Presti's legal team told The Post in a statement that the lawmen never identified themselves when they pursued Presti and the clip shows wrongdoing on their part not his clients.

“This video clearly shows my client running for his life from unidentified individuals dressed in dark clothing,” he said.

“One of those individuals clearly jumped on the hood of Mr. Presti’s vehicle.

“The Sheriff officers [sic] broke every proper procedure for effectuating an arrest,” Fonte continued.

“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.”

Lou Gelormino, an attorney for Presti, said the department is lying about the injured officer's legs being broken.

“That’s an outright lie,” he said.

“One of the deputies injured his ankle. Either he tore a ligament or something, we still don’t know the extent.

“Saying that he broke his legs is an outrageous, outright lie, completely confirmed.”


Gelormino cited the proof that Presti was released on Sunday was enough proof that the injuries were not so severe.

“If he ran over a sheriff’s deputy, they would’ve asked for a half a million dollars in bail,” said Gelormino.

Bill Neidhardt, the press secretary for New York Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted: "Whether it’s flouting public health laws or ramming a car into a deputy, this guy clearly has no regard for the lives of others. That's what it comes down to."

Mac's Public House declared itself an "autonomous zone" and refused to follow health regulations.

The bar, co-owned by Presti and Keith McAlarney, racked up several coronavirus violations including a liquor license suspension.

The bar on Staten Island is located in a coronavirus “Orange Zone,” which only allows takeaway or outdoor dining.

Indoor dining is not allowed as of November 23 because of a massive uptick in coronavirus infections. 

The pub also reportedly received complaints about operating past the 10pm curfew imposed by Cuomo’s executive order. 

Last week, Mac’s had its license to sell alcohol removed after cops found 14 people inside the bar eating and drinking. 

As of Thursday, more than 1,100 people died from Covid in the borough, while over 22,000 cases have been reported since March. 

Presti’s attorney, Lou Gelormino, told WABC-TV that around 100 customers were inside Mac’s on Friday as it reopened. 

The attorney said Presti is breaking the law to honor "brothers and sisters in the restaurant business.”

Gelormino said the bar’s owners still haven’t paid Covid summonses – and claimed that hundreds of other small business owners have reached out to him for his help. 

On Tuesday, plainclothes deputies walked inside Mac’s, ordered food, and paid a $40 mandatory “donation.”

Deputies in uniform then went in and shut the place down and arrested Presti.

Gelormino said since the bar was closed, several elected officials including Congresswoman-elect Nicole Malliotakis, of Staten Island, have reached out in support.

Presti told Fox News last Friday that he and McAlarney have “pleaded” to work with New York officials during the pandemic. 

“We've pleaded with them to work with us and other small businesses,” he 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.”

Presti said while local officials have tried to help, Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio “seem like they don’t want anything.”

“So if they don't give us assistance in some way, or are working with us to get back open in a safe manner, we're going to have to take things into our own hands.”

After Presti’s arrest, Cuomo said last Wednesday that the owner of Mac’s “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,” he said in a statement through a spokesperson. 

But Presti argued that New Yorkers “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.”

Pete Davidson slammed those protesting Covid restrictions in Staten Island as "babies," after a bar owner was arrested for defying rules on indoor dining.

Davidson, who is from Staten Island, took a shot at the owner and others disregarding Covid restrictions in the borough on this week's Saturday Night Live episode.

He said the heated Covid protest outside the bar made everyone from his home town "look like babies."

"The owner said no one wants to [serve food outdoors] because they'll go out of business," Davidson said on SNL last night.

"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," he said.

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