Ice Cream Truck Driver Denies Driving Over NYPD Barricade in Brooklyn

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The familiar sound of an ice cream truck usually brings joy to New Yorkers during the summer, but for one street in Brooklyn, the jingle is reminding them of the danger of city streets.

Neighbors in Boerum Hill and Carroll Gardens say they have come close to being hit by an ice cream truck, and some even witnessed one driving over NYPD wooden barricades meant to block off the street for pedestrians in the time of COVID-19.

Witnesses say they've seen ice cream trucks recklessly driving around Pacific, Nevin, Hoyt and Bond Streets. In a video provided exclusively to NBC New York on Monday, a witness captured a truck hitting the blue barricade, knocking it over, before driving through the street to plow through a second barricade.

"Now we’re all angry when we hear the sound of a Mr. Softee truck, and we’re thinking about someone who’s endangering children on the block," said Emily Fisher of Boerum Hill.

Morgan Johnson of Carroll Gardens said she was nearly run over by one of the ice cream trucks in her neighborhood. "He just came whipping around the corner over the sidewalk, and almost ran us over. So we chased him down the block and were yelling at him."

An ice cream truck was caught driving through a barriers of a closed street in Brooklyn. The barriers are there to mark the city's 'Open Streets' project which closes down streets across NYC for pedestrians.

On Wednesday, NBC New York witnessed an ice cream truck with a matching license plate to the truck in the video drive through the neighborhood around 2 p.m. The driver didn't drive over the barrier this time, but he got out of the car and manually moved the barricade to the side.

When asked if he was the driver who was caught on camera, the truck driver denied ever driving over any NYPD barricade.

"I don’t know, there’s like three other ice cream trucks driving around," he told NBC New York. But the neighbors aren't buying it, or the ice creams from the trucks.

The NYPD says officers are investigating the situation after the video of the truck was brought to the police's attention. Neighbors say they're now on the lookout even when the streets are supposed to be closed off and safe.

"We're depending on these open streets to give us some relief in these times where we have to be quarantined at home and to not be able to do that is pretty tough," said Andrea Dane of Carroll Gardens.

The New York Times found one ice cream truck driver who feels he has an obligation to get his ice cream out to children — even in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.
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