A Sno Cone Joe ice cream vendor in upstate New York was charged with harassment and stalking Tuesday for threatening his competition, the Mr. Ding-A-Ling truck.
Joshua Malatino, 34, who owns the Sno Cone Joe franchise in Gloversville, N.Y., and his girlfriend Amanda Scott, 21, are accused of bullying, threatening, and taunting drivers of their rival business Mr. Ding-A-Ling.
"You don't have a chance!" Malatino reportedly yelled at a 53-year-old Mr. Ding-A-Ling driver on one of his first days in Gloversville last month, according to court documents. "This is my town!"
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Malatino and Scott have repeatedly tried to pry customers away from the Mr. Ding-A-Ling truck.
"He's always following my guys, playing his music loud, giving out free ice cream," Mr. Ding-A-Ling owner Brian Collis told the Times Union. "Every year he calls up and says 'Who do you think you are, putting another truck in this town?'"
Police said Malatino and Scott have repeatedly tailed Mr. Ding-A-Ling trucks, blaring their jingles, and yelling "free ice cream!" to any customers who approached the window.
On Tuesday, a city officer was patrolling when he said he noticed one of Malatino's Sno Cone Joe trucks tailgating the Mr. Ding-A-Ling truck up to a stoplight. The officer made note of the strange sighting and later asked the Mr. Ding-A-Ling driver if Malatino had spoken to him. The driver then told police about the threats and odd behavior.
"In the past, Malatino has been warned for this type of behavior," Gloversville Police Capt. John Sira told the Times Union, adding that Malatino drove a different ice cream vendor truck out of town last summer. "We warned him before that this type of behavior would not be tolerated. This is a pretty open market here in Gloversville as long as you have a permit."
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If found guilty of harassment, a violation, and misdemeanor stalking, Malatino and Scott could face three months in jail.
Malatino has had trouble with the law before, Sira said. News reports show he was accused of assault in 2011, though the outcome of the case was not available.
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