Monday, May 6, 2013

Mr. Sno Cone vs. Mr. Ding a Ling: Ice Cream Truck War Turns Vicious

My favorite news headline of past few weeks comes from the Albany, New York, Times Union:

"Cops: Sno Cone Joe Stalked Mr. Ding a Ling. 

The story itself, by Bryan Fitzgerald,  is as entertaining as the headline, as long as you are not Gloversville, New York's version of Mr. Ding A Ling, the ice cream truck guy.
Police say this guy, an ice cream truck driver
wants NO competition along his route
in Gloversville, New York.  

Who knew the ice cream truck business could be so cutthroat?

It seems Mr. Sno Cone, also known by his real name, Joshua Malatino, does not like competition from other ice cream trucks in the fine community of Gloversville, and he does everything he can, apparently, to not let another ice cream truck roll into town.

Along comes Mr. Ding a Ling, also known as..... and the trouble began.

According to Fitzgerald's article:

"You don't have a chance!:" Malation yelled to the 53-year old Mr. Ding-a-Ling driver on one of his first days in Gloversville, according to court documents. "This is my town!"

It got worse:

"Police said Malatino called the Mr. Ding-A-Ling headquarters in Latham and told them 'I own this town!', claimed 'that this business controls the ice cream sales market in the city of Gloversville."

For the record, Gloversville officials allow any ice cream truck within its borders as long as they have the proper permits.

The Times Union says this isn't the first time Malatino has used strong arm tactics to control the Gloversville ice cream truck market.

"In the past, Malatino has been warned for this type of behavior," said Capt. John Sira, adding 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,'" Sira said.

Malatino and his girlfriend, Amanda Scott, 21, are charged with harassment and misdemeanor stalking, police said.

Next time you hear that annoying, tinny sound of an ice cream truck approaching, remember, it might not be all sweetness and light. Behind the smiles and the ice cream could be a nasty business struggle that could make a mafia don blush.

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