Although the owners of eight local businesses are suing to stop their eviction from the Coney Island boardwalk, the amusement giant controlling their leases isn't waiting to give them the boot. The first to get the bum's rush is Shoot the Freak, an open-air attraction that's let customers fire paint ball pellets at the titular "freak" for the past ten years. Anthony Berlingieri, who operates the famous game, tells the Post, "I’m still in shock. Zamperla never contacted me before throwing out my equipment and basically shutting me out of business."
Yesterday one of the workers razing the attraction said the Shoot the Freak space is being turned into the entrance for one of the new roller coasters Zamperla is building. A Zamperla spokesman says the firm "believes its actions are legal and needed to move quickly to be ready for next summer." But Berlingieri, along with the owner of Ruby's Bar & Grill and several other businesses, will appear in court next month to challenge their evictions. In the meantime, you can show your support on New Year's Day, when Ruby's will open for an after-party and protest following the annual Coney Island Polar Bear swim. And there's still time to hire a poor, unemployed freak for your holiday party!