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Coronavirus In Minnesota: Bar Owner Violating Executive Order Told Police 'This Is Communism'

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- A southern Minnesota bar owner is charged with not following Gov. Tim Walz's executive order last month to close bars and restaurants as COVID-19 began to spread in the state.

David Schuster, 57, of Winnebago, is charged via summons with one count of violating an emergency order, court documents filed in Faribault County show.

According to a criminal complaint, a Winnebago police officer noticed on March 22 that Schuster's establishment, Shooters Bar, had its lights on that evening. This was nearly a week after the governor had issued an order for bars and restaurants to close to dine-in patrons.

While the door to the bar was locked, the officer could see four men inside, drinking and playing cards. The officer spoke with Schuster, told him about the order and advised the men that they had to leave.

One of the men told the officer that they didn't need to listen to him until he came back with a warrant. According to the complaint, Schuster protested that "this is communism."

When a sheriff's deputy arrived at the bar, the men began to clean up and eventually left.

Schuster is slated to appear in court on May 19. If convicted, he faces up to 90 days in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.

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