More than fifty anti-vaccine mandate protesters invade New York Cheesecake Factory and Applebees restaurants and ten are arrested after refusing to leave when asked for proof of vaccination
Fifty anti-vaccine mandate protesters went to the Cheesecake Factory in Queens
The large group were asked for their vaccination cards, which they did not have
They were denied service and the police were called when they refused to leave
Six people were arrested and cited for criminal trespassing, according to NYPD
Meanwhile, four people were arrested at Applebee's in Queens the following day
New York's rules require people dining indoors to produce proof of vaccination
Six people were arrested after a group of protesters refused to leave a New York restaurant when they were asked for proof of their Covid-19 vaccination status.
A group of around 50 anti-vaccine mandate protesters staged a 'sit-in' at the Cheesecake Factory in Queens Center Mall on Tuesday after they were refused service for not proving their vaccination status.
The next day, four people were arrested when another group of demonstrators descended on Applebee's, in the same Queens mall. Video footage showed protesters chanting 'no more mandate' as people were restrained by officers.
The city's strict rules require people dining indoors, going to the gym, or attending entertainment events, to produce proof that they have been vaccinated.
At the Cheesecake Factory, the group, which included young children, were asked for their vaccination cards, which they did not have, leading to them being denied service, Fox News reported.
War veteran Mitchell Bosch, one of the people who was arrested, told the TV channel the group staged a non-violent protest in the restaurant and the police were called at around 7pm when they refused to leave.
Six people - Bosch, Eric Bascon, 38, Graig Young, 37, Augusto Alarcon, 39, Raymond Velez, 36, and Steven Wavra, 67 - were arrested at 9.45pm and cited for criminal trespassing, according to the New York Police Department.
Video footage, taken by photographer Leeroy Johnson, showed police officers restraining protesters inside the venue, with one man saying it was 'unbelievable' as he was escorted out by officers.
In the clip, groups of protesters are heard chanting 'no more mandate', while one protester continued to shout as he was restrained by a number of officers.
Four protesters were placed under arrest at 9.56pm for criminal trespass after they refused Applebee's staff and officers lawful orders to leave the location, the NYPD said.
According to the NYPD, Eric Bascon and Mitchell Bosch were again among the group arrested at Applebee's, along with Josephine Valdez, 30, and Jose Guzman, 48.
The groups at Applebee's and the Cheesecake Factory are both believed to be part of the the New York Freedom Rally, with social media posts from the group referencing both protests.
On Tuesday, a Facebook post shared by the New York Freedom Rally urged people to 'go dine together' at the Cheesecake Factory.
Alethea Rowe, the Cheesecake Factory's public relations senior director, told 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.'
An DCPI spokesperson said: '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.'
Speaking about the Applebee's incident, an DCPI spokesperson said: 'A 25 year-old female complainant reported that she asked the individuals to leave the premises several times and in which they refused.
'Officers gave several lawful orders to the group to leave the location which they refused. Four protestors were placed under arrest without any further incident at 2156 hours after refusing to comply to a lawful order.'
MailOnline has contacted Applebee's for comment.
Bosch, 42, whose six-week-old daughter was present at the Cheesecake Factory sit-in protest, described the vaccine mandates as 'unconstitutional and unpatriotic'.
'We cannot stop the economy and human society based off of this. This is illogical and in my opinion, immoral,' he added.
Raymond Velez, who was also arrested in the incident, accused employees of selectively enforcing the mandate.
He told Fox News: 'There was another gentleman there who was already at the bar who didn't have a vaccination card who was already served.'
Six people, including Velez and Bosch, were taken into custody at 9.45pm and charged with criminal trespass, according to media reports.
New York has some of the strictest rules across the US to combat Covid-19, requiring employees and customers over 12 have had at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine at indoor dining, fitness and entertainment facilities.
The mandate has been in place since September, with the exception of for children under 12.
But from Tuesday, children aged five to 11 will also have to prove they have had at least one dose.
After Christmas, a second proviso of the policy kicks in, with all New Yorkers aged 12 and older required to show proof of two vaccine doses, instead of one, from December 27.
It comes after the Supreme Court refused to halt a Covid vaccine requirement for health care workers in New York that does not offer an exemption for religious reasons.
The court acted on emergency appeals filed by doctors, nurses and other medical workers who say they are being forced to choose between their jobs and religious beliefs.
As is typical in such appeals, the court did not explain its order, although it has similarly refused to get in the way of vaccine mandates elsewhere.
Justices Neil Gorsuch, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito dissented.
'Now, thousands of New York healthcare workers face the loss of their jobs and eligibility for unemployment benefits,' Gorsuch wrote in a 14-page opinion that Alito joined.
'These applicants are not 'anti-vaxxers' who object to all vaccines,' Gorsuch added. 'Instead, the applicants explain, they cannot receive a Covid-19 vaccine because their religion teaches them to oppose abortion in any form, and because each of the currently available vaccines has depended upon abortion-derived fetal cell lines in its production or testing.'
New York is one of just three states, along with Maine and Rhode Island, that do not accommodate health care workers who object to the vaccine on religious grounds.
The court had previously turned away health care workers in Maine, who filed a similar challenge, with the same three justices in dissent.
The court has also rejected challenges to vaccination requirements at Indiana University, for personnel in New York City's school system and for workers at a Massachusetts hospital. The court also rejected a challenge to a federal mandate requiring masks for air travel.
All of those rulings were issued by just one justice, which can be a sign that the legal questions involved were not considered substantial.
New York's mandate, issued August 26 by the Department of Health, requires health-care workers to be vaccinated if they are in close contact with patients, residents or other workers. The rule exempts people who have a medical reason for not getting vaccinated.
Earlier this month, Mayor Bill de Blasio also announced a citywide COVID-19 vaccine mandate for the private sector as they already buckle under the strain of a labor shortage.
On Monday, de Blasio announced that all 184,000 private sector employees must be vaccinated against COVID-19 by December 27, with no option to test out.
Small business owners say it will put even more strain on them as they try to keep their existing workers, particularly companies with fewer than 10 workers.
The mandate - announced just four days before most private sector employees knock off for the holidays - will begin on December 27, though the mayor says more information will be available on the initiative on December 15.
Alex Yonatanov, who owns the Ace of Bladez barbershop in downtown Manhattan, said he's been vaccinated but his only other employee has not had the shot.
'If the person doesn't want to take the vaccine, you lose the employee. Either way there's a shortage of employees right now. This is unbelievable. If he does that mandate, we're gonna lose more employees,' he told DailyMail.com at his shop on Monday.
Another barber, Luiis Concha, owner of Well Kept Barbershop in Queen said: 'I'm not too happy with it. Now employees are gonna lose money. I'll have to let go of people and things like that - it's just overall bad for business.'
Public employees in New York City are already subject to a vaccine mandate, but business groups expressed opposition to similar rules for the private sector.
Citywide, only 78.6 per cent of residents have had at least their first vaccine shot.
In Manhattan, the figure rises to 88 per cent, but in Staten Island and the Bronx - the two boroughs with the lowest vaccination rate - the level falls to 73 per cent.
Among young people, citywide, from 13 to 17, 82 per cent have had at least one dose.
But with children aged five to 12, the rate drops to 31 per cent.
New York City has a 3.56 per cent COVID positive rate - a trend that is increasing.
But hospitalizations are stable, and deaths decreasing.
The figures for children aged 5-11 with confirmed Covid cases was unavailable, but New York City's public schools on Tuesday reported 336 students out of a million enrolled, and 122 members of staff, were positive.
SOURCE: The Daily Mail