Video may show different side of ice cream truck story
GLOVERSVILLE – No decision was made Wednesday on whether the owner of Sno Kone Joe will be able to sell ice cream in the city.
However, a video was introduced that appeared to show a different tale than what was described in court documents used to charge the drivers with harassment and stalking.
Amanda Scott, the owner of the business, and city officials were back in Fulton County Court before state Supreme Court Judge Joseph M. Sise on Wednesday to continue the hearing and determine if Scott’s permit was wrongly denied by the city.
The video, taken by Joshua Malatino’s 11-year-old daughter, appears to show that when Scott was on the street the driver of the Mr. Ding-A-Ling ice cream truck lives on, he didn’t go inside to avoid a confrontation April 28, as he stated in court documents.
The video shows Philip Hollister remained outside until the Sno Kone Joe truck continued on its route.
In the video, as Scott pulls away Malatino’s daughter says, “Mr. Ding-A-Ling just gave us the finger.” However, it was difficult to see in the video if the alleged action occurred.
The video can be seen on the Internet by going to YouTube and searching “Sno Kone Joe-Who’s harassing who?”
Scott and Joshua V. Malatino, 34, both of 62 East Blvd., were charged with second-degree harassment, a violation, and fourth-degree stalking, a misdemeanor. Police said the two were trying to keep Mr. Ding-A-Ling from selling ice cream in the city.
Those charges were supposed to be handled in City Court on Monday. But because of this case being scheduled for Monday at 9 a.m. Scott’s attorney, Bill Lorman, said he would seek adjournment of the City Court date.
Sno Kone Joe’s permit was up for renewal, but Police Chief Donald VanDeusen recommended Mayor Dayton King not reissue the permit, and King told the city clerk not to renew it, which resulted in the decision to go to court.
In court documents filed in the case, the city Police Department described a history of incidents involving the pair of Sno Kone Joe operators dating back to 2009. The 10 incidents involved either Malatino or Scott, who both operate the trucks.
Scott also took the stand in her defense Wednesday and said she’s been videotaping incidents with rival trucks for a while now because police told her to do so after an encounter last year with another ice cream truck – Mr. Pop Pop.
In September, Malatino and Scott alleged the Mr. Pop Pop ice cream truck driver, Robert Insognia, harrassed them. However, when police spoke to Insognia, he said Malatino and Scott harassed him and denied calling either driver derogatory names.
Scott then used a Google map to detail her route the day Hollister said she was stalking him and an officer witnessed her following the rival truck by “less than five feet.”
She claimed there wasn’t any trouble at the time and both trucks were stopped at a red light when the officer rolled down his window and spoke to Hollister.
Scott also said she was behind him because she was heading to a gas station, and only remained behind Hollister another 30 seconds after the light changed.
Michael Albanese, who represents the city, used the video by asking Scott if she knew if it was illegal to have a child inside a moving vehicle without being seated and secured with a seatbelt.
Scott replied she wasn’t aware that was a violation of vehicle traffic law.
Lorman called Mayor Dayton King to the stand. The attorney questioned King about an incident in the court documents when Malatino refused to serve a registered sex offender ice cream which resulted in a shouting match between the driver and denied customer.
Lorman was able to make King admit he posted a Facebook message praising Malatino’s actions to protect the children.
“It’s a great policy,” King said. “Our concern is in the response.”
However, King said at the time he wasn’t aware of the numerous encounters with Malatino the police department documented.
Since then, King said, his impression of Malatino has “drastically changed.”
The testimony will continue in court Monday.
Levi Pascher can be reached by email at email@example.com.