Rep. Patrick Neville, Walking Talking Public Health Hazard

UPDATE #3: Governor Polis does exactly what he should be doing:

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UPDATE #2: The Tri-County Health Department is not amused by the antics of C&C Breakfast and Korean Kitchen. As The Denver Post reports:

The Tri-County Health Department on Monday ordered a Castle Rock restaurant that opened to Mother’s Day crowds Sunday to close until it complies with the statewide COVID-19 public health order limiting dining establishments to take-out and delivery services.

Tri-County said it warned C&C Coffee and Kitchen on Friday not to open for Mother’s Day, but the restaurant opened for dine-in services anyway, according to a statement from the department.

“If the restaurant refuses to follow Governor Jared Polis’ public health order, further legal action will be taken that could include revocation of the restaurant’s license,” the statement said.

The Post story does not yet include the expected gnashing-of-teeth comments from restaurant owners or Neville himself, but they are no doubt dressing up in their martyr costumes as we write this update. #MakeAmericaBrunchAgain!

Don’t tread on them, or whatever:

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UPDATE: House Minority Leader Patrick Neville’s (literally) in-house political front group, Values First Colorado, could use a rebrand:

You’re welcome, let us know where to send an invoice.

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Denver7’s Ivan Rodriguez reports from (we hope) a safe distance from Castle Rock restaurant, which has emerged as the latest front line in the ill-considered campaign by a vocal fringe to throw the doors open on the economy despite a raging pandemic:

While hundreds of restaurants across Colorado continue offering take out and curbside service in accordance with the standing public health order, C&C Coffee and Kitchen in Castle Rock had other plans for Mother’s Day.

Video taken inside the coffee shop by Colorado Community Media shows booths packed, tables filled and a line snaking out the door. The owner of C&C Coffee and Kitchen declined to speak on the record with Denver7.

As the Denver Post’s Shelly Bradbury reports, Gov. Jared Polis is displeased as expected by this latest act of self-endangering defiance of both public health orders and common sense, which makes sense since every public poll shows Americans to be much more concerned about the unscientifically rapid pace of reopening than the economic pain and inconvenience of ongoing social distancing:

Gov. Jared Polis’ office on Sunday issued a statement calling such conduct illegal and dangerous.

“These restaurants are not only breaking the law, they are endangering the lives of their staff, customers, and community,” said the statement by deputy press secretary Shelby Wieman. [Pols emphasis]

“Under Safer at Home, restaurants, food courts, cafes, coffeehouses, and other similar places of public accommodation offering food or beverage for on-premises consumption are still closed. Delivery and drive-up service is available. Coloradans can contact their local public health department if they believe someone is violating Safer at Home.”

But 9NEWS updates that the cops did more reporting than enforcement, as least yesterday:

The Castle Rock Police Department said an officer reported to the Tri-County Health Department that the cafe planned to reopen. The health department said they plan to follow up, and released the following statement:

“We are disappointed that Cookies and Crème has decided to ignore the Governor’s Safer at Home order and open up today with no attention to social distancing. This decision runs the risk of undermining the impact that other Douglas County businesses and residents have achieved over the last seven weeks by taking various social distancing measures. As the entity charged with enforcing the Governor’s statewide Safer at Home Public Health Order, we will follow up with this restaurant to ensure that they, like other restaurants in the county, take appropriate steps to protect the public health, by limiting service to curbside and take-out service.”

Despite the near-universal condemnation of this restaurant’s decision to reopen to dine-in service, the establishment does not appear to have been shut down by law enforcement while the crowds were present yesterday. The over-capacity throng, which included the area’s state house representative House Minority Leader Patrick Neville (see photo above), was big enough to make shutting the place down problematic for all kinds of reasons–not least the desire to avoid exposing police officers to infection.

Perhaps second only in our state to Rep. Ken Buck, Minority Leader Neville has become the point man for turning the public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic into a partisan political campaign–infamously accusing officials of developing a “Gestapo-like mentality” and openly encouraging residents to flout orders by the governor and public health authorities. This latest protest backed by Neville goes even further, encouraging disregard for the most essential best practices we should all be following even after these businesses are allowed to reopen. It’s a degree of willful irresponsibility that should shock the conscience of every Republican with a functioning brain in Colorado.

In the meantime, every Colorado legislator at least can sigh with relief that the legislative session has been pushed back another week, giving Pat Neville the opportunity to self-isolate for the recommended 14 days after doing something this stupid during a pandemic. Unfortunately we doubt he plans to do so, and hope he has not just become another preventable transmission vector. To the extent possible, if you find yourself in an enclosed space with Minority Leader Neville for the foreseeable future we suggest you make use of the nearest exit.

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41 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. kickshot says:

    Be careful in what measures you take against these irresponsible yahoos, Jared & DougCo.

    It's the surest way to get Cruz to show up for breakfast that there is.

  2. The Washington Post noticed:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/05/11/colorado-restaurant-illegal-reopening/

    But the restaurant also had plenty of supporters. Among them was state Rep. Patrick Neville (R), who is also among a number of conservative lawmakers nationwide who have joined their constituents in acts of defiance. He said on Facebook later that he found it “shocking” that, after taking a photograph of himself with Arellano at the restaurant on Sunday, the “left mob is coming after me over this hardcore."

  3. 2Jung2Die says:

    So, Neville's basically telling the virus to "come take me and I'll share with my friends and family," Sandridge and Baisley were at the Capitol protest unmasked with a bunch of other unmasked and shouting non-social-distancers, and Smallwood already had it. Remind me to pass if I get invited to a House GOP caucus meeting!

  4. ParkHill says:

    The health department can shut down a restaurant for health code violations.

    Or maybe, just file a misdemeanor charge of endangerment. Then the restaurant becomes subject to civil lawsuits or their insurance costs go through the roof.

    Look, I'm sympathetic to the loss of income suffered by small businesses – I'm down 25% specifically due to CV-19, but fortunately have other legs in my stool. But, I know for a fact that I can't reopen until a vaccine is available. 

    Personal Services, Travel, Hospitality, Entertainment/Sports, Schools Dorms/Jails/Nursing homes are all locations where you have 50 on 50 (or more) people sharing breathing space. These business are NOT coming back until we have a vaccine which is 9 months away at best.

    $1,000 – 2,000 per person per month for nine moths; make it income-taxable at 50% – I don't care.

  5. MADCO says:

    laws and legal authority only matter when people agree with them.
     

  6. Diogenesdemar says:

    The Arrellanos own two restaurants, one in Colorado Springs and one in Castle Rock.  The fact that this crime was chosen to be committed in Castle Rock leads me to believe that Patrick Neville was much more than just a happenstance bystander/honored attendee at this caper?

  7. skeptical citizen says:

    Where is Patrick's AR-15?

  8. spaceman65 says:

    Let's hope sweet baby jesus brings him home soon

  9. davebarnes says:

    The statement from Tri-County Health reminds me of a UN-written stern letter of reprimand. 

  10. Conserv. Head Banger says:

    Real easy solution to C & C……who's the insurance carrier for their liability insurance? Get the picture?

    • dan axelrod says:

      and the owner of the property and their insurance carrier. 

    • Genghis says:

      Patriots like the Arrellanos needn't worry a bit. "Toart refoarm" legislation immunizing these heroic business owners from any and all COVID-related civil liability is percolating at the federal level. If they can't squeeze it through Congress, Trump will just do it via executive order. "Can he DO that," you ask? Well sure! He's in "complete charge." Just ask Trump; he'll tell ya.

  11. Early Worm says:

    Isn't this the natural extension or corollary to these nuts' position on their right to bear arms?  They oppose any restrictions on their God-given right to have an assault weapon (with a large capacity clip) or their right to assemble in a coffee shop on Mother's Day during a public health crisis. It does not matter how many children get slaughtered in schools or older people die in nursing homes. Their freedom to do whatever they want outweighs everyone else's right to life. If you disagree, you are a socialist, the anti-Christ, anti-American, or a Democrat. 

  12. JohnInDenver says:

    Apparently, health agency decisions are not being honored, and will need additional enforcement. 

    One of the supporters tweeted out a classic from the door of the restaurant…

    Looking forward to someone writing a “Dearest Mother” letter from this new battle front for freedom.

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