This really gives the ol' "I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream" adage a new, sinister meaning.
For many New Yorkers, the end of cold weather can be identified — at least in part — as the moment the fleets of ice cream trucks begin traversing the roads. That sweet, bell-jingle cutting through the humid air means one thing: summer is coming.
However, it turns out that behind the cheery, frozen facade of the ice-cream truck lurks a menacing secret: according to a report in The New York Times, a renegade group of former Mister Softee vendors (known as the New York Ice Cream Company) declared a soft-serve turf war against Mister Softee, after the former began moving in on the latter’s territory in midtown New York.
We get it: temperatures are high, tensions (apparently) even more so — but none of that is enough to justify what one of the rogue ice cream truck drivers did next.
John Cicero, a 40 year old ice cream truck driver, set his sights beyond the realm of frozen treats, and attempted to settle a turf dispute not with another ice cream vendor, but with a Midtown Manhattan pretzel vendor.
How did he do it? Oh, just by striking the pretzel vendor with a baseball bat to the head, the police said on May 31. While the actual attack occurred on May 12, Cicero was not arrested until May 31.
“Let me tell you about this business,” a Mister Softee driver reportedly said to the Times. “Every truck has a bat inside.”
Cicero and the unnamed pretzel vendor entered into a standoff. “Both of them mutually thought that the other would make it more difficult for them to conduct business at the location,” said Lieutenant Marco Gonzalez.
After exchanging punches, Mr. Cicero went back to his truck, extracted the bat and struck the pretzel vendor twice in the head, which resulted in contusions, Lieutenant Gonzalez explained.
But that’s not all. After a witness managed to take the bat away from Cicero, the ice cream truck driver then proceeded to pull a knife and threaten the pretzel vendor. Finally, Cicero fled the scene in the white-and-purple ice cream truck, police allege.
Cicero’s lawyer eventually contacted the police, and Mr. Cicero turned himself in on May 31. He has been charged with felony assault.