GLOVERSVILLE - The Mr. Ding-A-Ling driver who was charged over the weekend with driving his ice cream truck while intoxicated was fired by the vending company Wednesday, business owner Brian Collis said Thursday.
"He never told me what had happened, so I found out [Wednesday] morning when people started calling me," Collis said. "It is just unbelievable; nothing like this has ever happened to me before. Who would think a guy would go out for drinks at a bar with an ice cream truck?"
Philip N. Hollister, 53, of 16 Montgomery St., was charged with driving while intoxicated in his ice cream truck in Northampton and was arrested at 12:10 a.m. Saturday on County Highway 123, Sheriff Thomas J. Lorey said.
Hollister is the same vendor who police said was harassed by the Sno Kone Joe ice cream truck vendor in Gloversville. In that case, Joshua Malatino and Sno Kone Joe owner Amanda Scott were charged by police in April with stalking and harassing Hollister while he was working as Mr. Ding-A-Ling in the city. Scott lost her city vending permit as a result. The controversy received national media attention.
Mayor Dayton King said Thursday the city has decided it would allow the Mr. Ding-A-Ling permit to continue since Hollister has been terminated from the company. The owner would have to find another driver, who would have to go through a standard background check.
King said the same right would be given to the Sno Kone Joe truck owner if people other than Scott or Malatino were to operate the business.
"As long as Josh and Amanda are not a part of the business operation, I'm all for having a Sno Kone Joe truck back out in the city of Gloversville as well, just run by another person," King said.
Another vendor, Pop Pop's Snack Shack, operated by Robert J. Insognia, was granted a one-month permit in June, said the city clerk's office.
The permit allowing Hollister to provide his vending service in Gloversville is in the name of Mr. Ding-A-Ling owner Brian Collis. The permit expires Oct. 1.
Collis said he is the owner of the truck and is looking for another vendor to conduct business in the city.
Hollister had been in Northampton selling frozen treats to children earlier last Friday night before being arrested early Saturday morning.
Fulton County Sheriff Thomas Lorey said Hollister was charged with driving while intoxicated, driving with a 0.08 percent or greater blood-alcohol content and failure to keep right.
He said Hollister was operating his Mr. Ding-A-Ling truck and swerving, and almost struck a deputy's vehicle before the truck was stopped.