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In the midst of mass anti-vaccine mandate protests, more than 10 NYPD officers surrounded a mother and her son at a table at an Applebee’s in Queens before kicking them out.
On video, the officers are seen surrounding a young family at a table during a protest at Queens Center Mall, where they are accused of ‘traumatizing’ and ‘scaring’ the child.
As part of a series of demonstrations against the anti-vaccine mandate, dozens of anti-vaxxers staged a sit-in at the restaurant after being refused service for not proving vaccination status.
‘Unless you have vaccination cards, you have to exit the restaurant,’ says one officer.
After the restaurant called the cops following a protest, the little boy looks like he is about to cry, so he covers his face as the police speak with the family.
When NYPD officers asked the family to leave the busy restaurant, a group of protesters, who were protesting against vaccine mandates, could be heard shouting at them.
‘Scaring a child. Traumatizing a child. Hope you feel good about yourselves NYPD,’ a person yells.
‘This is disgusting, this is gross,’ said another protester.
The City of New York requires people the age of five and older to show proof they’ve received a COVID-19 vaccine at the time they dine indoors, including at restaurants, caterers, hotel banquet rooms, bars, nightclubs, cafeterias, coffee shops, fast-food restaurants and grocery stores.
One of the officers, speaking to the group of protesters, stated: ‘If you leave voluntarily you will not have charges pressed against you.
‘Otherwise you will be arrested for trespass. This will be your only warning.’
According to The Sunnyside Post, a group of demonstrators sat down in the Applebee’s restaurant on December 15 at around 9 pm and refused to leave after staff refused to serve them because they had not shown their vaccination passes.
Newsweek reported that the New York Police Department had been called to the scene following a disturbance at the restaurant.
The NYPD stated: ‘Upon arrival, officers were informed by the manager that individuals entered, refused to prove vaccination status in compliance with NYS Mandate and requested for the individuals to be removed from the location.’
Several people have been arrested and charged with criminal trespass, the police added. Neither mom nor child was charged, however.
One man said it was ‘unbelievable’ as officers escorted him outside, in video footage captured by photographer Leeroy Johnson.
A protester, who was reportedly restrained by a number of police officers, continued to yell as he was chanted ‘no more mandate’ by groups of protesters.
At the same Queens Center Mall a day earlier, more than 50 anti-vaccine mandate protesters staged a ‘sit-in’ at the Cheesecake Factory after they were denied service for not proving their vaccination status.
Children and adults were included in the group of protesters who refused to leave. Six people were arrested.
A war veteran who was arrested, Mitchell Bosch, told the TV channel the protesters staged non-violent protests in the restaurant and police intervened when they refused to leave.
The six individuals arrested at 9.45 pm were Bosch, Eric Bascon, 38, Graig Young, 37, Augusto Alarcon, 39, Raymond Velez, 36, and Steven Wavra, 67. They were all cited for criminal trespassing, according to the New York Police Department.
Several groups at Applebee’s and The Cheesecake Factory have been associated with the New York Freedom Rally; the group posts on social media about both protests.
Cheesecake Factory’s senior director of PR, Alethea Rowe, told The MailOnline: ‘This was an unfortunate incident. The company is simply complying with the local ordinance concerning Covid-19 vaccine requirements.
‘We would like to thank our restaurant managers and staff for remaining focused on providing our guests with delicious, memorable food, and would like to thank local law enforcement for their support during this time.’
A spokesperson for the DCPI stated: ‘On Tuesday, December 14, 2021, at approximately 1900 hours, police responded to a 911 call for Criminal Trespass inside of at 90-15 Queens Boulevard (Cheesecake Factory) in the confines of the 110 Precinct.
‘Upon arrival officers observed a large group of individuals at the location. A 35-year-old female complainant reported that the group entered the establishment and request to be seated, upon her requesting the group to show her proof of vaccination they all refused and they also refused to leave the premises as requested several times.
‘Officers gave several lawful orders to the group to leave the location which they refused. Six protestors were placed under arrest without any further incident at 2145 hours after refusing to comply to a lawful order.’
Bosch, 42, who had his 6-week-old daughter with him during the sit-in protest, called the vaccine mandates ‘unconstitutional and unpatriotic’.
‘We cannot stop the economy and human society based off of this. This is illogical and in my opinion, immoral,’ he remarked.
During the incident, Raymond Velez, who was arrested as well, accused employees of selectively enforcing the mandate.
Velez told Fox News that: ‘There was another gentleman there who was already at the bar who didn’t have a vaccination card who was already served.’
Among the strictest rules across the US, New York requires employees and customers over 12 to receive one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine at indoor dining, fitness, and entertainment establishments.
As of September, the mandate is in effect, with the exception of children younger than 12.
The requirement will extend to children aged five to 11 as of Tuesday as well.
From December 27, all New Yorkers 12 and over will have to show proof that they’ve received two vaccine doses instead of one, according to the second proviso of the law.
According to the state’s latest count, the city is facing a surge in Coronavirus, with over 27,000 infections recorded on Tuesday alone, and over 2,300 people hospitalized with the virus.
As Omicron spreads, 19 percent of the city’s 4,000 workers were out sick on Saturday as those still at work assisted COVID patients who were unvaccinated.
New York is seeing a surge in new COVID cases as a result of the Omicron variant, with 44,431 new cases and a 12.4 percent positivity rate on Thursday.
On Friday, there were 12,900 new diagnoses across the five boroughs in New York City, with 259 hospitalizations.