NewsLocal News

Actions

Orchard Park gym owner arrested for criminal trespass for attempting to attend school board meeting

robby dinero.jpg
Posted at 12:47 PM, Dec 15, 2021

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WKBW) — An Orchard Park gym owner who previously filed lawsuits against New York State COVID-19 restrictions was arrested for criminal trespass for attempting to attend a school board meeting Tuesday.

Police said Robby Dinero, owner of Athletes Unleashed, was arrested around 6:50 p.m. Tuesday for criminal trespass in the third degree for attempting to attend the Orchard Park Central School District school board meeting.

According to police, Dinero allegedly has had previous violations of the school district's "code of conduct" and was previously advised that his privilege to be in any district building was revoked. Before the school board meeting, he was allegedly stopped outside of Orchard Park High School and told he was not allowed to enter. Police said Dinero did enter the building and was subsequently arrested for criminal trespass.

The district released the following statement Wednesday:

The Orchard Park Central School District constantly strives to provide a safe and welcoming environment for our students, staff, and visitors. Unfortunately, that has become much more difficult during the pandemic. Despite these challenges, the District has worked to hold Board of Education meetings in public, as the Board and District welcome and value input from our residents and employees. Unfortunately, the District has been unable to effectively conduct its business during in-person meetings on a number of occasions this year due to visitors refusing to comply with the District’s Code of Conduct and COVID-19 protocols.

The District handles each matter on an individual basis and, if necessary, takes appropriate action to address violations. In November, the District was forced to ban an individual from coming inside school District buildings due to the individual’s conduct. Specifically, on multiple occasions, the individual would don a face mask to enter a school building, remove the face mask once in the building, and refuse to put it back on when requested by District officials and employees. In addition, the individual disrupted Board of Education meetings. The individual shouted threats and inappropriate statements, which interfered with the right of the Board of Education to continue their business in an orderly manner without disruption.

As a result, the District notified this individual, in writing, on November 12, 2021, that they are prohibited from being in any of the District’s school buildings and attending any activity or event taking place within District school buildings including Board meetings. At the December 14, 2021 Board meeting, the individual entered a District building despite being banned from the property. The District notified law enforcement, who then removed the individual from our property.

The District and Board of Education will continue to work to provide our students with the best education and support during these unprecedented times. We are disappointed that these incidents distract from our mission here at Orchard Park and will continue to concentrate our efforts on what truly matters: our students.

He was processed and released on an appearance ticket returnable on December 28 in Orchard Park Town Court.

In November 2020, Dinero filed a lawsuit against former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Department of Health alleging Athletes Unleashed was severely impacted by the pandemic, and through no fault of its own, been forced to cease its operations as required by governmental order.

In December 2020, a judge ruled Athletes Unleashed could open at 100 percent capacity and in February 2021 a judge ruled the gym no longer needed to abide by executive orders older than 30 days.

In March 2021, Dinero filed a lawsuit "on behalf of his minor children and on behalf of all other similarly situated" against the Orchard Park Central School District, Orchard Park Board of Education, Cuomo, NYSDOH and NYSED seeking an injunction on the district from continuing to impose the hybrid/remote learning model.