The squabble over a Gloversville ice cream truck license moved to court Wednesday, where a troubled history was laid out: 10 instances dating back to 2009 in which police officers became involved with either Joshua Malatino or Amanda Scott, operators of the Sno Kone Joe truck.
Both Scott, 21, and Malatino, 34, are facing harassment and stalking charges in Gloversville City Court for allegations they were tailgating Phillip Hollister’s Mr. Ding-A-Ling truck in their Sno Kone Joe truck.
Those charges are pending while Scott, who apparently owns the business in which Malatino is the employee, is fighting the city of Gloversville’s decision to deny her a license to sell ice cream.
Attorneys for both sides appeared Wednesday before state Supreme Court Justice Joseph M. Sise, who granted Scott a hearing that serves as her only resort following the city’s decision.
Scott’s attorney, William Lorman, contends that the city lacked a rational basis for denying Scott another license. Scott’s Sno Kone Joe business had a one-month vending license that expired May 4. She went to City Hall to get a new license April, 30, a day after police arrested her and Malatino. On the police chief’s recommendation, the mayor denied the request.
Michael Albanese, representing Gloversville, told Sise that city officials were aware of 10 separate instances involving either Scott or Malatino, which supports Police Chief Donald Vandeusen’s recommendation to reject license renewal.
Police reports documenting these situations, Albanese said, demonstrate a rational basis for that decision.
The instances include two complaints lodged by former Mr. Ding-A-Ling driver Melanie Ryder, who told police Malatino followed her Mr. Ding-A-Ling truck after Malatino yelled out to one of her employees, “What the [expletive] are you doing in Gloversville,” according to a copy of the police report.
Ryder told police she’d be peddling ice pops on one street headed east and Malatino would be on the same street heading west — a situation she said continued to other streets.
Police attempted to contact Malatino to no avail and told Ryder they didn’t perceive any crime taking place at that time.
Several instances cited by the city relate to Malatino — an Aug. 16, 2011, complaint from his former landlord stating that Malatino wouldn’t give his keys back, for example.
The landlord, Mark Givis, told police Malatino said he would “have him killed” and raised his fist at him. Givis told police Malatino stormed out of his new apartment and chased him in his vehicle and spit at him.
Malatino told police Givis used foul language and spit at him, too.
“Both parties were advised to avoid each other and to behave like civilized adults,” the police report states.
In an August 2011 complaint, Carl David told police Malatino called him a pedophile and refused him ice cream and a shouting match ensued while children were in line waiting at the Sno Kone Joe truck.
That report indicates that Scott was with Malatino in the truck.
Malatino was charged with third-degree assault after witnesses said he punched Jacob Myzal at The Pizza Joint at 151 N. Main St. in Gloversville on Oct. 14, 2011.
In the report, Malatino is accused of telling Myzal he would “break every bone in your body, and I’m going to kill you.”
The result of any prosecution in that case could not be determined late Wednesday.
On May 11, 2012, police were called to 110 Lincoln St. for a “disorderly conduct complaint involving rival ice cream trucks.”
According to the incident report, an officer arrived at the scene to see a shouting match between Malatino in the Sno Kone Joe truck and Lillian Martindale, ex-girlfriend of Mr. Ding-A-Ling driver Joe McSpirit.
McSpirit was parked in front of Martindale’s residence.
When the police officer asked Malatino why he was parked directly behind the Mr. Ding-A-Ling truck, police in the report said Malatino replied he was “trying to compete with his rival’s business” because his truck was “more popular.”
Police suggested that Malatino not park there anymore and advised Martindale to “ignore minor situations before they escalate.”
Other instances cited by the city include an apparent fight between Scott and another woman over the ice cream truck’s music in August 2012 and allegations of harassment mutually lodged by Scott and Malatino against rival ice cream truck driver Robert Insognia, who told police the pair harassed him in September of 2012.
Police were called on Sept. 14, 2012, to a harassment complaint lodged by Scott against a 14-year-old who Scott said demanded free ice cream. The boy told investigators he sought a sample and didn’t become harassing until Malatino began “yelling and screaming at him.”
On April 24 of this year, Malatino argued with Police Chief Donald Vandeusen, who asked him to move his Sno Kone Joe truck from a no-parking zone where it was parked. Malatino refused to comply. Malatino ultimately parked his truck on his front lawn and was issued a parking ticket.
The remaining instances involved Hollister on April 16, April 19 and April 28 this year, which led police to charge both Malatino and Scott with harassment and stalking.
On Wednesday, Scott’s attorney, William Lorman offered a single witness to rebut the claims against his client.
Crocetta testified she was first in line at the Sno Kone Joe truck on April 28, one of the dates Hollister alleges he was harassed.
Crocetta testified she purchased an Italian ice. She said the Mr. Ding-A-Ling truck was about five houses down the road, and she said she did not witness poor behavior in the three minutes she was on the scene.
Sise adjourned Wednesday’s hearing until 9:30 a.m. Tuesday.
Gloversville Mayor Dayton King said he stands behind the city’s actions.
“I want to look out for the children and the adults in the community,” King said.
He said there’s no “vendetta” against Sno Kone Joe’s operators as they have claimed.
“We enforce the laws here in Gloversville,” he said.
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