A well-known New York City butcher who handed a black deliveryman a noose and offered to help the man hang himself has pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct for the threatening act.
According to the New York Post, Joe Ottomanelli, owner of Ottomanelli & Sons, got off with a mere slap on the wrist and will have to serve three days of community service.
This comes even after the incident between Ottomanelli and 36-year-old Victor Sheppard, the delivery driver, was initially investigated as a hate crime.
Back in April, Ottomanelli, 60, gave Sheppard the makeshift noose fashioned out of yellow rope, quipping, “If you ever have any stress, just put it around your neck and pull it. I could even help you with it.”
Sheppard was stunned by the blatant display, saying later that he could not return to his job with meat distributor Mosner Family Brands because it continued to serve Ottomanelli’s business.
“I could have lost my life or been badly injured or in jail, and it didn’t mean anything to them,” Sheppard said. “It’s not easy returning to an environment where you mean nothing.”
Ottomanelli was initially booked on aggravated harassment charges but was offered a plea deal because of his lack of criminal record, according to the Post.
On top of it all, despite the threatening implications of his disturbing gift, after Ottomanelli completes his sentence at a soup kitchen or food pantry and undergoes a restorative-justice program and stays out of trouble, he also has a chance to get his record wiped clean, the Post reports.
Read more at the New York Post.