BBQ restaurant owner arrested after defying lockdown

Joe Middleton
<p>Police gather in the car park of Adamson Barbecue</p> (AFP via Getty Images)

Police gather in the car park of Adamson Barbecue

(AFP via Getty Images)

A Toronto restaurant owner has been arrested after defying public health restrictions.

Adam Skelly, the proprietor of Adamson BBQ, declared on social media on Monday that he would open his restaurant despite restrictions put in place by authorities to limit the spread of Covid-19.

Mr Skelly’s eatery — located in Etobocike, a suburban area of the Canadian city — opened up on Tuesday despite warnings from Toronto health officials to close the doors.

The 33-year-old was arrested by police on Thursday and his restaurant was seized by officers who changed the locks, as reported by CP24.

He is being charged with one count each of attempting to obstruct police, mischief, failing to comply with a continuing order and failing to leave when directed.

Pictures from the scene show groups of people supporting Mr Skelly and holding a number of signs critical of politician Doug Ford, who represents the area in the Ontario Legislature.

An online fundraising effort for Mr Skelly has already collected thousands of dollars.

Mr Skelly appeared in court on Friday and was given bail. He is due back in court on January 4.

City of Toronto Mayor John Tory told CNN he thought Mr Skelly was making a political statement.

Toronto started a four-week lockdown this week after a large rise in Covid-19 infections.

All shops, restaurants, salons and gyms have been ordered to close. Mr Tory has not ruled out the restrictions being extended into the New Year.

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