Several Connecticut restaurant owners were arrested and face charges after repeated violations of COVID measures, including overcrowding and not having servers wear face masks.
The five restaurant owners in Danbury failed to comply with the state's coronavirus safety guidelines, according to the city's mayor Mark Boughton.
"We warned them several times, in one case multiple times, and at a certain point we had to arrest them," Boughton said.
The arrests happened during the busy July 4th weekend at four bars and restaurants in and around Main Street: La Canchita Restaurant and Bar, Red House Bar and Cafe, Fajitas and Margaritas, and La Costenita Bar and Restaurant.
Other violations included not having tables six feet apart and allowing customers at one crowded restaurant to dance. At one point, there were around 100 people at one establishment, Boughton said.
While there were signs reminding patrons at La Canchita to obey social distancing rules and wear masks, that apparently wasn't being followed — even more shocking given that the restaurant set up its outdoor dining in the parking they share with a COVID-19 testing site.
A woman who said she works with the owners of the building that houses one of the restaurant said she was going to warn them to follow the rules.
"I was going to tell him he has to follow the rules, because there's fines and things like that involved for him. Which isn't good for his business, which isn't good for our business," the woman said.
Boughton said the establishments had multiple warnings before the owners were arrested, saying that the arrests had to be done in the name of safety.
"Our numbers have been great, they've been arcing downward, our residents have been terrific. But it only takes one instance to cause a resurgence," Boughton said.
After reaching out to each of the restaurants, only one owner replied. He said he feels he is being unfairly targeted, and is calling on the city to do a better job on enforcement for all restaurants.