Saturday, May 14

A chilling blow to good PR

You know... some professions require everyone have good public relations skills.

Enjoy your weekend.

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Ice cream vendor ordered to cool off

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

A Good Humor man was served 18 months' probation Tuesday for losing his cool with a foul-mouthed teenager.

Nazzareno Didiano, 44, stopped dishing out peanut butter bars and Blue Bunnies last May 12 and began pummeling a pudgy-faced Bloomfield teen during a meltdown.

The teen, now 14, told Allegheny County Judge John A. Zottola during a brief trial that Didiano grabbed him by the arm, yanked him from his bike, punched him in the face and slammed him into a wall.

The attack came after the boy berated and cursed Didiano over the cost of his cones.

"I wanted to tell him I didn't appreciate being talked to like that," said Didiano, who denied punching the boy.

Zottola ruled he did not believe Didiano and convicted him of simple assault. In addition to the probation, Didiano must take anger management classes and reimburse the teenager $20 for damage to his bike.

The teen giggled as Didiano recounted the obscenities directed at him.

Didiano, who worked for Paul's Ice Cream Co., served up his own frosty insults.

"I told him he didn't need any ice cream anyway because he's fat," said Didiano.

The teen, about 5-foot-5 and 140 pounds, responded by calling Didiano a "bald (expletive) ripoff." Didiano later attacked when he found the boy sitting on a bike two blocks away.

Assistant District Attorney Dan Regan presented photographs of a red-faced victim with a cut inside of his mouth.

"He instigated the whole thing," said Didiano, who is looking for a new job.

The teen's mother said she's satisfied with the verdict, but complained that her son is now self-conscious about his weight.

"This has been a nightmare," she said.

"I told him he didn't need anymore ice cream because he's fat." Classic customer service. Great kick-start for a new campaign: "Paul's -- the ice cream you want, but only if you really need it. Our team of mobile health professionals will help you stay on your weight-loss target."