Several Danbury restaurants and bars had repeated disregard of COVID-19 restrictions over the 4th of July holiday weekend, and the owners were arrested. While Danbury Police are not actively seeking out violations of the Governor’s COVID-19 related restrictions, the department does have a goal of maintaining public safety and the peace.
After receiving specific citizen complaints or discovering blatant violations while responding to calls for service, officers were prompted to take enforcement action. Formal warnings were issued, and in these cases escalated to an arrest.
On Saturday, five café owners were arrested and two others were issued formal warnings for violations of the Governor’s Executive Orders. Those who were arrested received at least one formal warning on a prior date and time.
One prior warning was given to both La Canchita on Delay Street and Red House on Keeler Street for multiple violations and three people were arrested. The owner of La Costenita on 2 Ives Street received prior warning and had multiple violations so the owner was arrested. Two prior warnings were given to Fajitas and Margaritas on Main Street on June 20th and 28th, and this past weekend had multiple violations leading to the owner's arrest. El Bocano on Railroad Place was given a warning for violations. La Kabanita on White Street was given a warning for violations in regard to the executive order. A liquor referral was made.
On Sunday, one café owner was arrested for a second time. More violations were found at La Costenita.
Acting Health Director Kara Prunty says the Department staff is going around and teaching owners what they should be doing in order to follow safety guidelines. Staff then follows up with periodic inspections to make sure they're doing what they should be doing.
Mayor Mark Boughton says the owners refused to comply with prior warnings, despite education efforts. In one case, Boughton says three warnings were issued before an arrest was made because the owner simply refused to comply with the guidance.