STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- In May, Bobby Catone decided to open his Great Kills tanning salon despite coronavirus mandates still prohibiting him from doing so.
But he hardly had a customer before city officials shut his business down for violating government mandates due to the coronavirus (COVID-19). Catone said he was ready to be arrested but had to close one of his Sunbelievable shops after NYPD officials threatened that the city would revoke its Department of Health permit. He attracted a large crowd of supporters and several elected officials when he attempted to open his shop on May 29. But the $1,000 fine for “violating an emergency order” that police slapped him with on that day, has since been dropped, according to his lawyer, Mark J.Fonte. “It [the summons] was factually deficient, meaning the allegations in the summons didn’t support the charge,” said Fonte. “We asked that the court review the summons, and it was determined to be factually deficient, and it was dismissed.” OPEN IN PHASE 3 Catone was allowed to reopen his two Island-based tanning salons in Phase 3 of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s reopening amid the coronavirus pandemic. Catone said he has put many plans in place to protect his customers, which include frequent disinfection procedures, stickers designating where to stand to encourage social distancing, and he has reduced his overall customer capacity. “It was a relief to finally open,” said Catone, noting he reopened on July 6. “We clean the doorknobs every time someone opens the door. We clean the benches every time someone sits on it. We sanitize the front counter. We have hand sanitizer dispensers in the rooms, and plexiglass covering over the front counter.”