East Hampton officials: 3 Montauk business operators face charges after COVID-19 compliance inspections
The operators of three Montauk establishments are facing charges following COVID-19 safety inspections, officials with East Hampton town announced Sunday.
The three were were arrested Saturday night on misdemeanor charges related to alleged violations of the State Liquor Authority Alcoholic Beverage Control laws, during inspections related to COVID-19 safety regulation compliance.
Multiple misdemeanor charges were levied against the owner of Rick's Crabby Cowboy Cafe, the owner of Ruschmeyer's, and the manager of Nick's on the Beach, regarding posting of signage and proper approved storage of alcohol. The town says police officers documented "numerous additional alleged violations at the three establishments, including some related to COVID-19 health and safety regulations, which will be referred to the State Liquor Authority."
The town says that videos and photos taken of crowds at several Montauk establishments will be referred by police to the SLA for potential further charges under Gov. Andrew Cuomo's executive orders.
"While the vast majority of businesses are operating safely, and are respectful of the potential threat from COVID-19, we cannot allow some to operate in ways that threaten the public health as well as the continued ability for other businesses to remain open," East Hampton Town Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc said in a statement. "I will be asking the State Liquor Authority to suspend the license of any business that openly and repeatedly flouts COVID-19 safety regulations. We cannot afford to have responsible businesses shut down due to irresponsible operators."
Van Scoyoc says other establishments in the area were following social distancing guidelines.
In Bay Shore, people were out and about enjoying the warm weather for the Fourth of July weekend. Many were wearing masks when they couldn't social distance on Main Street.
Jeff Gergas, from Levittown, was dining outdoors for lunch, but says he stayed home to celebrate the holiday on Saturday.
At the Fire Island Ferry, dozens of people were coming and going on the boats. Owner Tim Mooney says ridership is down between 30 to 50% because of the pandemic, and that he's making sure everyone has a fun but safe ride to and from the beach.