The owner of the Sno Cone Joe franchise reportedly stalked a Mr. Ding-a-Ling ice cream vendor, telling the man, “You don’t have a chance! This is my town!”
The Gloversville, N.Y., police arrested Malatino after they spotted him tailgating the rival driver. They then charged him with harassment and misdemeanor stalking. He could face three months in prison if convicted.
So, was this a low-level mob ice cream operation attempting to enforce its turf, or just one man’s sugary meltdown? Police aren’t saying, but they do acknowledge Malatino has been in trouble with authorities in the past.
Malatino, 34, and his 21-year-old girlfriend, Amanda Scott, reportedly had shadowed the rival ice cream truck driver and attempted to block his sales.
Police said Malatino and Scott would yell out “Free ice cream!” to potential customers making their way to the rival Mr. Ding-a-ling truck.
Malatino allegedly even called Mr. Ding-a-Ling headquarters, yelling, “I own this town,” and insisting that “his business controls the ice cream sales market in the city of Gloversville."
According to the company website, Mr. Ding-a-Ling has been operating ice cream trucks in the New York area for more than 30 years, with 66 trucks currently in action.
"We warned him before that this type of behavior would not be tolerated," Capt. John Sira told the paper. "This is a pretty open market here in Gloversville as long as you have a permit."
As strange as this tale may be, it’s not the only case of an ice cream rivalry gone too far. In 2012, a pair of rival ice cream truck drivers in the U.K. got into a violent altercation over their respective “turfs,” resulting in several arrests.