The owner of a barbecue restaurant in Canada remained open during the coronavirus pandemic, and defied government lockdown orders. Adam Skelly, the owner of Adamson Barbecue in Etobicoke, was arrested on Thursday and dragged away in handcuffs in front of a crowd that gathered to show support of his defiance of coronavirus restrictions.
For two days this week, Skelly served customers despite government orders to shut down operations, including a prohibition on indoor dining for at least 28 days. Early Thursday morning, police changed the locks to Adamson BBQ. Police completely surrounded the restaurant, even deploying a dozen horses to prevent Skelly and his patrons from accessing the restaurant. A crowd of lockdown protesters showed up at the restaurant to rally around Skelly.
Police literally have the building surrounded.
Tyrannical BBQ at 7 Queen Elizabeth Ave. in Etobicoke. pic.twitter.com/AMU6sjI9G3
— LΞIGH (@LeighStewy) November 26, 2020
At 1 p.m., Toronto police announced that they had arrested Skelly.
“A 33-year-old man was arrested for Attempting to Obstruct Police. He has been taken into custody. More details will follow. Officers remain in the area. We continue to ask for calm,” Toronto Police wrote in a tweet.
Video shows Skelly being taken away in handcuffs as the crowd yells in anger, “Shame!” One man got into a physical altercation with the cops and was arrested for assaulting a police officer.
— Tina Yazdani (@TinaYazdani) November 26, 2020
Skelly was charged with 13 offenses, including criminal and non-criminal charges: trespassing, intent to obstruct police, violating indoor dining rules, holding an illegal gathering, and operating a business without a license, as reported by CBC.
There were two operating without a business license charges, the fine is up to $50,000 for a corporation and up to $25,000 for an individual or officer/director, according to city spokesperson Brad Ross.
At 9PM, the city has finally issued a press release about Adamson, detailing charges, which has some very unusual wording concerning the mayor: pic.twitter.com/VIoHLlyBVz
— Jennifer Pagliaro (@jpags) November 26, 2020
After allegedly being detained for over 30 hours, Skelly was released on $50,000 bail. Skelly claims that one of the conditions for release was that he is not permitted to use social media.
Toronto Police Supt. Dom Sinopoli justified Skelly’s arrest by saying, “We have formed a baseline as to how Mr. Skelly chooses to operate. We have now cautioned him up until today that our enforcement will progress and it did.”
Skelly’s next court appearance will be on Jan. 4.
A GoFundMe campaign was launched to help pay for Skelly’s legal defense with a goal of $10,000. In the two days since it was launched, the campaign has raised over $225,000.
Randy Hillier, an elected member of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Ontario, voiced his support for Skelly by stating, “I’m certain that these unlawful orders will be struck down by the courts.”
Today I recognized Adam Skelly of Adamson BBQ for his courage & conviction. He tested the law & I encourage others to do the same.
— Randy Hillier (@randyhillier) November 25, 2020