CARMEL-BY-THE-SEA (CBS SF) – The owner of a restaurant in Carmel-by-the-Sea has been charged by the Monterey County District Attorney’s Office for allegedly providing table service and allowing customers to eat on the premises against health orders during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, prosecutors said Thursday.

Jeffrey LeTowt, owner of The Tuck Box restaurant located on Dolores Street, is also accused of failing to wear a face covering while customers were present and not implementing social distancing protocols, according to the district attorney’s office.

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Prior to the filing of criminal charges, the district attorney’s office along with Carmel police and the state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control had each warned LeTowt about the violations of the county and state health orders that are meant to limit the spread of the virus.

KPIX 5 reporter Len Ramirez said the restaurant continued on Friday to serve customers without social distancing or using masks.

The three misdemeanor charges of refusing to follow a lawful order each carry the possibility of up to a $1,000 fine and/or six months in prison, prosecutors said.

A request for comment by officials at The Tuck Box was not immediately returned. The restaurant’s website says The Tuck Box first opened in the 1930s, and that LeTowt took over operations there in 2003.

District Attorney Jeannine Pacioni said, “I want to commend all the individuals and businesses who are sacrificing so much to protect our community from this disease. While so many are doing their part, we cannot allow a business to defy these emergency public health orders and risk the progress that our community has made.”

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