Cops: Restaurant Owner Went to Extremes to Violate Lockdown

Owner of Adamson Barbecue in Toronto facing 13 charges
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 27, 2020 8:16 AM CST
Restaurant Defies Lockdown Even After Cops Change Locks
Police arrest Adam Skelly, owner of Adamson Barbecue, on Thursday.   (YouTube/CityNews Toronto)

With COVID-19 cases spiking, Canada's largest city entered a four-week lockdown on Monday. Among other restrictions, Toronto restaurants are prohibited from offering indoor dining—a rule police say Adam Skelly willfully violated. The owner of Adamson Barbecue in the suburb of Etobicoke is facing 13 charges for continuing to accept customers from Tuesday to Thursday amid anti-mask demonstrations in the area. Cops say they watched customers come and go on Tuesday before the city's public health chief ordered the restaurant's closure. But Skelly opened again on Wednesday. "It's going to be closed today, you can be sure of that," Mayor John Tory said Thursday morning, per the Toronto Star. Police had changed the restaurant's locks overnight. But 33-year-old Skelly wasn't to be deterred.

Allowed to access part of the building to gather his belongings on Thursday, police say Skelly broke through a wall to reach the restaurant, broke the city's lock, and opened a door to give customers access, reports the CBC. He was arrested on charges of violating indoor dining rules, holding an illegal gathering, operating a business without a license, trespassing, and intent to obstruct police. Protesters on the scene later marched to the home of Ontario Premier Doug Ford, chanting "freedom," per the Star. Tory tells CNN that the crowd was trying to "celebrate some of their unorthodox views," though "the vast majority of people" are abiding by lockdown rules. Adamson Barbecue was set to be boarded up late Thursday, per the CBC. (More lockdown stories.)

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