Three arrested outside Chabad headquarters for violating social distancing rules

Chabad-Lubavitch spokesman says three men arrested on Thursday were part of unsanctioned group and didn't have permission to be there.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Chabad-Lubavitch's main headquarters
Chabad-Lubavitch's main headquarters
Nati Shohat/Flash 90

Three people were arrested for violating New York City’s social distancing restrictions outside the World Headquarters of Chabad-Lubavitch in Brooklyn, The New York Post reported Sunday.

The arrests were made on Thursday came after police responded to calls about “New Yorkers NOT social distancing” outside the synagogue, NYPD Chief Terence Monahan said in a tweet.

“After numerous warnings from officers and continued disputes, three arrests were made,” Monahan wrote.

Yaacov Behrman, a spokesman for Chabad-Lubavitch, said Sunday that the men were part of an unsanctioned group gathering outside the synagogue, which had been closed due to coronavirus restrictions.

He added that the police had the synagogue’s blessing to break up the gathering outside the building.

“We made it clear that we support any action the police take to uphold the law,” Behrman said, according to The New York Post.

He stressed that the group “had no permission to be there. Chabad made it clear no one has permission to be on the property.”

Police have begun cracking down on large gatherings that violate the city’s lockdown rules, including a raucous gathering at a Brooklyn barbershop on Saturday.

New York State has been the hardest hit state in the US by the coronavirus, though Governor Andrew Cuomo said last week that "the worst is over".

At the same time, however, he warned New Yorkers not to become complacent about the disease.

On Saturday, Cuomo said that a recent drop in hospitalizations and encouraging statistics indicated that they might have passed the peak of the virus curve.

Friday's death toll was 540, down from 630 a day earlier and the lowest number in more than two weeks. There are also fewer people being admitted to intensive care, and fewer being put on ventilators.

There are currently 236,743 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in New York State, where 13,362 people have fallen victim to the epidemic, by far the largest number in the entire United States.