The owner of the Shoot the Freak attraction on the Coney Island boardwalk says that despite the sudden bulldozing of his business this week, he's not going anywhere. Besides his already pending lawsuit against amusement giant Zamperla, owner Anthony Berlingieri will ask a judge next week to stop the company from turning the site into the entrance for its new "Scream Zone" amusement park. Berlingieri, who found all his equipment and props gone when he showed up at the site Wednesday, tells the Daily News, "Everything I worked the last ten years for...is gone. They've been dishonorable from day one...If you hang out with a bunch of thieves and someone robs you, you're not surprised."
Zamperla wants to evict Shoot the Freak and seven other businesses on the property its leasing from the city. David Lombino, a spokesman for the Economic Development Corp., says, "Under its lease, [Zamperla]'s construction is ongoing in anticipation of the summer opening of its expanded amusement park. We'll review the steps taken yesterday to make sure they are compliant." The other members of the "Coney Island 8" sent out a letter of solidarity declaring, "We are eight small businesses on Coney Island’s boardwalk, engaged in a pitched battle with the City of New York, who owns the property on which all our businesses stand and with the property’s new leaseholder, a non-American company, to stay on the boardwalk where the eight of us have been for many years, some of us for more than 75 years. They are trying to evict us and, clearly, acting like bullies."
However this shakes out, at least one person won't shed a tear over Shoot the Freak's demise: