Two upstate New York ice cream truck operators have become involved in a cold war that has landed one of them in hot water.
Joshua Malatino, who owns the Sno Cone Joe franchise in Gloversville, N.Y., threatened a 53-year-old driver who was working for the rival Mr. Ding-a-Ling franchise.
According to court documents, Malatino screamed "You don't have a chance!" at the driver. He added, “This is my town!"
Malatino, 34, and his 21-year-old girlfriend Amanda Scott then began following the driver in an attempt to snag his customers. If anyone was going towards the Mr. Ding-A-Ling truck, they would yell: "Free ice cream!"
Police say that Malatino also called the Mr. Ding-A-Ling headquarters and said "I own this town!" He also apparently told his rival "that his business controls the ice cream sales market in the city of Gloversville,” the Albany Times Union reported.
Malatino and Scott were charged Tuesday with second-degree harassment, a violation, and fourth-degree stalking, a misdemeanor.
Police felt compelled to do something because this is not the first time Malatino has been involved in this sort of thing.
"In the past, Malatino has been warned for this type of behavior," said Capt. John Sira. He said that Malatino had gotten a different ice cream vendor to leave town last summer. "We warned him before that this type of behavior would not be tolerated," Sira said. "This is a pretty open market here in Gloversville as long as you have a permit."
Mr. Ding-A-Ling owner Brian Collis has had his problems with Malatino. "He's always following my guys, playing his music loud, giving out free ice cream," Collis said. "Every year he calls up and says 'Who do you think you are, putting another truck in this town?'”
Malatino and Scott were arraigned in Gloversville City Court and released.