Amanda Scott cast doubt Wednesday on accusations she was stalking a Mr. Ding-A-Ling driver in her Sno Kone Joe truck.
During a hearing in state Supreme Court, Scott and her attorney, William Lorman, introduced a video showing a different scene than one described in a police report used to charge her with harassment and stalking.
Scott, who is fighting the city of Gloversville’s refusal to issue a vendor permit for her ice cream truck, wasn’t the one who took the video that shows Mr. Ding-A-Ling’s Phillip Hollister dancing to her music when she sold ice cream on the street Hollister lives on. The video, taken by the 11-year-old daughter of Scott’s boyfriend, Joshua Malatino, ends with the girl exclaiming “Mr. Ding-A-Ling just gave us the finger.”
The video is posted on the Internet — people can see it by simply going to YouTube and searching for “Sno Kone Joe–Who’s harassing who?”
Contrary to a statement attributed to Hollister, in which he said he went inside the house because he was being stalked by Scott, Hollister is seen standing outside until the Sno Kone Joe truck drives out of sight.
The video was one of several pieces of evidence that contradict previous accounts of Scott’s dealings with Hollister.
Scott, who took the stand in her own defense Wednesday, said she’s been videotaping encounters with rival ice cream trucks not as a means of stalking them, but because police told her to do so last year after a run-in with another ice cream vendor — Mr. Pop Pop.
The 21 year-old Gloversville woman then introduced a Google map she put together detailing her travels the day Hollister said she was stalking him.
She admitted, in part, another accusation lodged by police. One officer testified earlier that he saw Scott’s Sno Kone Joe truck “less than five feet” behind Hollister’s Mr. Ding-A-Ling rig, a sight the officer said prompted a conversation with Hollister to see if there was trouble.
But Scott said there wasn’t any trouble — both trucks were simply stopped at a red light in the city when the officer spotted them.
Lorman launched an assault on the city’s case Wednesday, working to discredit Mayor Dayton King’s perceptions of the Sno Kone Joe operation and Malatino, who was also charged with stalking and harassment.
Among the list of police reports officials relied upon to reject Scott’s request for another license is a complaint from a Level 2 sex offender who reported Malatino refused him service and called him a sex offender.
Lorman got King to admit he’d posted a message of support for Malatino’s actions to protect the city’s children on Facebook.
“It’s a great policy,” King said.
But King later said he wasn’t aware at that time of the list of other encounters with Malatino that police documented and used to support the recommendation that Sno Kone Joe not get a new license.
Cursing and calling somebody a sex offender out on the street, King said, is not appropriate behavior. But Lorman pointed out Malatino also lodged a claim with police saying the sex offender swore at him and gave him the finger.
Using that incident to the detriment of Malatino and Scott, Lorman suggested, means King was taking the word of a sex offender over that of a resident he’d lauded for helping to protect children just weeks before.
The city’s attorney, Michael Albanese, took advantage of the video, though. He asked Scott if she knew if it was illegal to have an 11-year-old girl inside a moving vehicle without restraints.
Scott said she didn’t know that.
Though the case has drawn national attention due to the oddity and novelty of an “ice cream war,” Lorman said there are serious issues at hand.
“The principles are pretty important. The city of Gloversville is basically telling Amanda, ‘You’re not going to make a living selling ice cream in the city,’ and that’s her sole source of income. The stakes are kind of high, even though the background is somewhat comical,” Lorman said.
Testimony before state Supreme Court Justice Joseph M. Sise is scheduled to continue Monday.