Defiant NY gym owner and 14 yr. Marine Corp vet rips up $15K COVID fine on live TV

Robby Dinero, a U.S. Marine and the owner of a gym in Orchard Park, New York, was fined $15,000 for violating the coronavirus restrictions after a confrontation last week with the Erie County Health Department.

The defiant business owner appeared on Fox News on Tuesday and tore the citation into pieces on live TV, ripping Gov. Andrew Cuomo for the “worst kind of leadership.”


Dinero had called a protest/meeting of local business owners to address Orange Zone lockdown restrictions imposed by Cuomo when a health department official escorted by deputies from the Erie County Sheriff’s Office showed up to break up the gathering — Cuomo had prohibited gatherings of more than 10 people.

Things didn’t go well for the authorities, who hit a wall of defiance captured in a video that went viral, as they were told, “This is private property. You’re not wanted here,” and “Go get a warrant!”

“I posted on Facebook Friday night that I wanted to get together business owners and protest and fight the lockdown that I feel is infringing upon our freedom,” Dinero told Fox News host Sandra Smith.

“We were about 20 minutes into that meeting when some sheriffs and a department of health official showed up uninvited,” he continued. “My business was closed, we were not conducting business. This was a protest.”

The 14-year Marine Corps veteran who served as an infantry officer said “patriots took it upon themselves to stand shoulder to shoulder and tell them to get out,” and while the authorities did leave, they would return on Tuesday with the $15,000 fine.

“Any infringement on our liberty goes too far,” Dinero said. “We were born with inalienable rights bestowed upon us by our creator. They are guaranteed by the Constitution, specifically the Bill of Rights.”

“Our freedom cannot end where people’s fear starts,” he insisted.

A father of four, Dinero excoriated Cuomo and a local county official for receiving taxpayer-funded salaries while restricting the ability of working people to earn, as he  challenged them to “come to my dinner table … look our kids in the eyes and say your father, your mother isn’t an essential worker.”

After noting that they don’t “have the guts to do that,” he added, “They get to take our money, but we don’t get to earn.”

Dinero then held up the $15,000 fine citation on camera and began ripping it into pieces.

As for the fine, a GoFundMe page was set up and as of this writing, Dinero should be able to weather a few more fines, as it stands at $42,150.

Tom Tillison


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