BROOKLYN (PIX11) -- When PIX11 News paid a return visit to the Mister Softee truck depot on Stanley Avenue in Brooklyn, they weren’t happy to see us.
That’s because the New York City Health Department had just shut down the facility at 400 Stanley Avenue after inspectors found trucks with Nassau County permits were buying supplies at the Brooklyn location—and then selling ice cream in Brooklyn—even though they didn’t have a required sticker from the city’s Health Department.
“I think justice is served,” said Godfrey Robinson—known as “Kool Man”—an independent truck operator who claimed the large Mister Softee franchise in East New York had been harassing him for years. “He told me to go ‘f’ myself and I can’t work here anymore, so—after that—‘I said I have to do what I have to do.’”
What Robinson did was file repeated complaints with the Health Department—and NYPD—claiming he was harassed for the last eight years by the rival trucks—sometimes blocked from doing business.
He also reported the Nassau County stickers that were affixed to most of the trucks. Robinson said the owner of the “Softee” franchise depot, Hilary Guishard, tried to intimidate him.
“I don’t mind that he worked, ‘free enterprise!’” Robinson said. “But you have no license, and you’re harassing me? That’s not fair.”
When PIX11 News first did the story in August about the bitter showdowns between the two, ice cream vendors, Guishard spoke to us and denied he had ever threatened Robinson or anyone else. “We don’t have to threaten anyone,” Guishard said back then. “We’re Mister Softee. We are the best.”
Mr. Guishard told us the trucks were owned by independent vendors who just used the depot for parking.
On Friday, he didn’t want to speak to us and said, “Please leave.”
His associates were not so polite.
They pushed our PIX11 photographer’s camera and cursed him, as one spit on the ground—with the gate to the depot rolling down.