A Mister Softee truck driver in Queens didn't find anything funny about a rival Good Humor man encroaching on his turf, so he decided to make him an offer he couldn't refuse. According to the Post, on Tuesday afternoon in Elmhurst, George Peralta, 27, pulled his Mister Softee truck in front of 50-year-old Good Humor man Ernesto Valverde, while accomplice Andy Arevalo parked his ice cream truck behind Valverde, blocking him in. With the help of a third man, they allegedly took Valverde's keys and told him to "stay off [our] route, we know where you live, we know where you parked the truck."
Wait, it gets even more gangster: That night Valverde went to the 115th Precinct stationhouse in Jackson Heights to report the threat, and when he came out, Peralta's boss, Ronald Baretela, was waiting. Court documents accuse him of telling Valverde he would "follow him around everyday and ruin [his] business." But Baretela's lawyer explains that the whole thing is just "a misunderstanding over who can sell where."
A spokesman for Queens DA Richard Brown says Peralta is being charged with robbery, coercion and criminal possession of stolen property for taking the keys to Valverde's truck, and his boss is charged with coercion and tampering with a witness. Arevalo, the alleged accomplice, is charged with unlawful imprisonment and criminal possession of stolen property. And this is hardly the first time ice cream truck turf wars have gotten nasty; in 2004 one ice cream truck driver beat another so badly she was hospitalized for a month. Damn, it's tough out there for a Softee; maybe we should cut them some slack on the jingles after all?