Tattoo parlor opens in violation of COVID-19 order

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NEWBURGH – Casa Di Dolore tattoo shop opened for business on Saturday morning in defiance of Governor Cuomo’s executive order that forced the shop closed last month.

Rob Minuta is the owner of the shop at 784 Broadway and considers himself a patriot who has been forced to close his shop during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rob Minuta

“We did our part and closed,” he said, adding “But enough is enough.”  On May 27, Minuta told Mid-Hudson News that he had been quietly tattooing clients without drawing the attention of authorities.  The breaking story ignited a firestorm of media coverage that put his planned opening in the spotlight.

Minuta, supported by “We The People” activists staged the shop’s reopening for May 30 at 9 a.m.  “This is a display of defiance against a tyrannical dictator,” said Minuta, referring to the governor.  The tattoo artist claims that the COVID-19 executive orders issued by Cuomo are an unnecessary burden and he is no longer going to remain silent.

Minuta’s supporters started gathering in front of the shop before 9 on Saturday and less than two hours later there were nearly 40 individuals gathered there in what Minuta called the “New York Freedom Rally.”

Several attendees were dressed in para-military clothing while others waved American flags along with several Gadsden flags bearing the words “Don’t Tread On Me.”  Two police officers in an unmarked SUV were parked on a nearby side street observing the large gathering.

Minuta said he notified the police department of his plans to violate the executive order earlier in the week.  “We are respectfully demanding that law enforcement uphold the oath they took to uphold the Constitution of the United States and to stand in solidarity with “We The People” in defiance of highly unconstitutional orders that directly violate their oath,” said Minuta.

The tattoo artist said that he made arrangements for customers to maintain social-distancing in the shop and all employees would be wearing masks.  “My shop has been sanitized and our equipment is sterilized to surgical standards all of the time.  If customers request additional measures, we will accommodate them to keep everyone safe.”