(photo @ autoweek.com)
Charleston, South Carolina
On the afternoon of September 8, 2013, Lisa Moorer was driving her ice cream truck through a neighborhood when she observed a group of young children running towards her vehicle accompanied by the sound of frantic screaming.
As you might imagine, this scenario played out pretty often in her line of work. But in this case, something was off. The four boys were customers that she had seen numerous times before, but the screaming didn't match up with them at all. Instead, it had the sound of an elderly irate male and contained a slew of profanities.
As she pulled the truck over, Lisa discovered that the person yelling at her was 59-year-old Richard Lee Hill. Richard was apparently very angry that an ice cream truck was daring to bring joy and the possibility of early onset diabetes to children while ignoring the neighborhood's 'No Solicitation' sign/rule.
Now as hard as it might be to believe, I still had a little bit of sympathy for Richard at this point. Any of you who follow me on Twitter (or have the unfortunate privilege of hearing me complain about things in person) know that the ice cream truck in my neck of the woods causes me no small amount of terror and panic.
For starters, it plays Christmas music like 'Silent Night' and 'Joy to the World' very slowly and incredibly out of tune. That's jarring enough to hear in the summer time, but even worse is the fact that the truck seems to enjoy making its rounds just as the sun is setting.
"Yeah...I'm gonna just keep on running away in fear if you don't mind..."
Combine that with the fact that the ONE AND ONLY time I've heard it play 'Happy Birthday To You' was as it drove by my house ON MY BIRTHDAY...and how the last scene of 2008's 'Home Movie' still haunts me, and well...maybe I'm just a giant pansy. But still, I could see how Richard might have not been a fan, either.
But instead of closing the blinds and hiding behind the couch like I do, he decided to take a terrifyingly proactive approach to his anti-ice cream truck sentiment by brandishing a gun while charging towards it. In an interview about the incident (embedded below), Lisa claims that after realizing what was happening and seeing the children scatter, she took off from the armed assailant barreling towards her.
Of course I'm glad that she and the kids got out of there safely. But I also really hope I'm not the only person who laughed at the thought of an ice cream truck playing its music while out from the curb and speeding away down the street.
The police where called about the incident and converged on Richard's home. They found him sitting in his back yard (hopefully contemplating his bad life decision and/or doing zen meditation), where he quickly surrendered himself to the authorities.
Richard was allegedly very apologetic and admitted that what he'd done was "a dumb mistake." Unfortunately for him, being contrite won't get you out of being arrested and charged with pointing and presenting a firearm.
Lisa Moorer said that she has had complaints about the music from her truck before, but a potential armed assault definitely constituted a first for her. As of now, she seems undeterred from making her rounds.
Richard Lee Hill was released from jail on $25,00 bond (!) and has told friends that he is ashamed of his actions this past weekend.
Maybe one of them will go buy him an ice cream.
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