Video shows moment Staten Island bar owner rammed sheriff with Jeep
This is the moment that a Staten Island bar owner allegedly rammed his Jeep into a sheriff’s sergeant attempting to arrest him for slinging drinks in defiance of state coronavirus restrictions.
Surveillance video exclusively obtained by The Post opens with Danny Presti, co-owner of Mac’s Public House, running into frame and behind the wheel of the blue Jeep around midnight Sunday, closely followed by two men dressed head-to-toe in dark clothes.
One of the men, previously identified by law-enforcement sources as New York City Sheriff’s sergeant Kenneth Matos, reached the vehicle before Presti could drive away and appeared to move toward the front passenger side window before backing up to the front of the Jeep, the 18-second clip shows.
With Matos in front of the vehicle, appearing to rest his hands on its hood, Presti begins to accelerate, the momentum gradually picking the lawman up onto the hood, the video shows.
The Jeep continued out of frame, with Matos still atop the hood and his partner running alongside the vehicle’s passenger side, the video shows.
Presti, 43, is alleged to have carried Matos some 300 feet, breaking both of his legs, before finally getting collared.
The lawmen were attempting to arrest Presti for operating his watering hole in defiance of state coronavirus restrictions.
He and the joint’s co-owner, Keith McAlarney, have dubbed the establishment an “autonomous zone” in refusing to follow the health regulations.
Mark Fonte, a member of Presti’s legal team said in a statement that the lawmen never identified themselves when they pursued Presti, and that the clip demonstrates wrongdoing on their part, not his client’s.
“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 Sheriffs Office is to continue in their new role as law enforcement, I urge the City to provide them with proper training.”
Presti was hit with ten charges, including a bail-eligible assault rap, but released later Sunday on his own recognizance.