Who knew ice cream truck operators could be so cold? Two owners of a New York Sno Cone Joe ice cream van were charged this week after reportedly harassing a nearby competitor, Mr. Ding-A-Ling.
According to Gloversville, N.Y., police, 21-year-old Amanda C. Scott and her co-operator, 34-year-old Joshua V. Malatino, were charged with second-degree harassment and fourth-degree stalking against an unidentified 50-year-old male and fellow ice cream truck driver, the Leader Herald reported Wednesday.
Police said the charges came after following up on complaints followed by the Mr. Ding-A-Ling driver. The driver alleged that Malatino and Scott stalked him three times in April, while blasting loud music and yelling “free ice cream” in an attempt to draw customers away from his vehicle.
According to a TimesUnion.com report, the Snow Cone Jo operators began harassing the driver during his first day working in Gloversville, with Malatino allegedly saying to the ice cream truck worker, "You don't have a chance" and "This is my town."
“We recorded every incident when we were in the same neighborhood of that truck, so everything will come out in the end,” Malatino said regarding the accusations, stating he has a “whole bunch of evidence” to back up his claims.
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Police Capt. John Sira said he believes Malatino and Scott are in the wrong, stating that the victimized driver “has done nothing wrong.”
The Sno Cone Joe operators are also accused of telling the driver that he was in control of the ice cream sales market in Gloversville, despite the ability for any vendor to acquire a sales permit to sell products in the city.
“It’s a wide-open market,” said Sira, who stated a similar incident with Malatino occurred in 2012 when he was warned to cease and desist his alleged threatening actions or risk being sanctioned. "We warned him before that this type of behavior would not be tolerated," he said.
Owner of Mr. Ding-A-Ling, Brian Collis, said this isn't the first time the fellow ice cream truck owner has harassed his workers.
"He's always following my guys, playing his music loud, giving out free ice cream. Every year, he calls up and says, 'Who do you think you are, putting another truck in this town?''" Collis said.
If convicted, Malatino and Scott could face up to three months in jail.