Toronto restaurant owner was arrested for allegedly violating public health orders



Adam Skelly, who owns Adamson Barbecue, is charged with every attempt to obstruct the police, engage in mischief, disobey a standing order, and not leave when reported.

The restaurant was seized by the Toronto Police Service early this morning, the locks were replaced and all persons barred from accessing the property, Toronto Police Superintendent Dom Sinopoli said in a news conference late Thursday.

Toronto kicked off a four-week lockdown this week amid an exponential rise in Covid-19 cases and as ICUs were nearly full. All restaurants, non-essential stores, salons and gyms are ordered closed. And on Thursday, the Toronto mayor told CNN that he did not rule out an extension of the lockdown until Christmas and New Year.

Sinopoli said that “the owner (Skelly) was given some leeway to access the rear compartment of that building.” On entering the back of the building, Skelly broke through the plasterboard, entered the restaurant, and damaged the locks made throughout the city, Sinopoli said.

CNN partner CBC previously reported that Skelly was charged on Wednesday with nine charges, including violating in-house dining rules, holding an illegal meeting and running a business without a license.

Sinopoli also spoke of the large gathering of protesters with “different views” around the restaurant, which was very noisy and “very anti-police at times.” Another man was arrested in the protest and charged with one count of obstructing the police, six counts of assaulting a police officer, including spitting at the officer, two counts of making a death threat, and one count of failing to comply of an ongoing command, Sinopoli said.

Both Skelly and this man will appear in court on Friday for bail by the 23rd Division, Sinopoli said.

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Skelly has received a debt note and another will be posted in the restaurant, preventing anyone from accessing the building and adjacent parking lot, Sinopoli said. Toronto Public Health has commissioned the entire property, Sinopoli said.

Toronto Mayor John Tory said he believes Skelly is making a political statement.

“He had a lot of the anti-masks there,” Tory told CNN’s Erica Hill Thursday morning on “New Day”.

“It was like it was a festival they had to try to celebrate some of their unorthodox views.”

“But I think the vast majority of people will not accept that. They are doing their best to make the sacrifices that are horrible in some cases to ensure that we can all get well,” said Tory, adding that he believes that Skelly will. “Heavy fines are imposed” if convicted.

CNN has not been able to identify a lawyer representing Skelly.


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