On Wednesday, David Elmendorf, the former owner of Bumpy’s Polar Freeze, was ordered to pay $4,500 for harassing, threatening, pulling weapons and calling the police on peaceful Black Lives Matter protesters.
The Root reported back in March that Attorney General Letitia James was suing the anti-chocolate ice cream shop owner under a new state law that made it a crime to file “false ‘race-based’ police reports.” And according to the Associated Press, the New York AG won the case.
Under the ruling, Elmendorf must pay $500 each to nine protesters he harassed, for a total of $4,500. He is permanently barred from making future threats against people because of their race and from brandishing a deadly weapon within 1,000 feet of any peaceful protest.
“There is zero tolerance for harassment, intimidation, or violence of any kind against anyone in New York,” James said in a prepared release.
The lawsuit, according to AP, alleged that Elmendorf wielded a baton and air rifle and harassed the protesters who gathered outside his shop last summer. The demonstration took place because Elmendorf was allegedly caught sending racist text messages and saying he would never hire a Black person.
The suit also said that he threatened to shoot and kill the protesters and called them monkeys, savages and the n-word. He then reportedly called the police saying that the protesters threatened to shoot him.
According to the Daily Gazette, the New York AG’s office announced that the judge ruled in her favor, ordering Elmendorf to pay $500 to each protester, the maximum penalty per victim.
The Daily Gazette also reports that Elmendorf’s lawyer, James Mermigas, is planning to countersue the attorney general, claiming that his client was never served notice of the AG’s action.
From the Gazette:
“We’re going to look to overturn it because my client was not properly served, and we didn’t put a defense in,” Mermigis said. “All these allegations are completely false and overreaching, and we may file a countersuit against the state and the county for defamation because they’ve ruined my client’s good name.”Mermigis said his client now works as a long-distance trucker.
“He was forced to lose his business through no fault of his own,” Mermigis said, adding he would never represent a racist.
“This guy doesn’t have a racist bone in his body and he is the victim,” the lawyer said. “He’s the one who lost his business, a business where he was earning a significant revenue, because of a false claim.”
Maybe next time this ice cream shop owner will know when to chill.