New York Attorney General Letitia James sued an upstate ice cream shop owner for allegedly falsely reporting that Black Lives Matter protesters were threatening to shoot him — using for the first time a new law prompted by the “Central Park Karen” case.
David Elmendorf — the owner of since-shuttered Schenectady ice cream shop Bumpy’s Polar Freeze — drew protesters near his shop in June 2020 after racist text messages he allegedly sent circulated on social media, according to the Schenectady County Supreme Court lawsuit filed by James on Wednesday.
The texts included racial slurs and one in which Elmendorf said, “I don’t hire black people,” the court papers allege.
During one of the protests on June 30, the group “stood peacefully on the porch of a private house near Bumpy’s” — but for 15 minutes, Elmendorf spat slurs, including the n-word and “monkeys,” the court documents charge.
“If you come over here I’m going to shoot you” Elmendorf allegedly said. “I’ll kill all you f—-ing n—-rs,” the court filing alleges he said.
Elmendorf threatened the demonstrators with a baton and said he’d go into the ice cream parlor and grab a gun, prompting the protesters to flee out of fear, the court papers claim.
Then Elmendorf called 911, claiming there were “20 armed protesters who were threatening to shoot him,” adding that they were “‘savages’ hanging out in ‘Section 8 housing,’” the court documents allege.
When 50 protesters showed up later, Elmendorf, wielding a .22-caliber air rifle pellet gun, threatened, “I’ll run you n—-rs over with my truck,” the court filing charges.
Police stopped Elmendorf as he drove away, and found the pellet gun, a can of ammunition and a rifle scope, the court papers allege.
Elmendorf pleaded not guilty to criminal charges over the incident. That case is still pending, court records show.
His dessert eatery was shuttered after he allegedly failed to correct a health code violation and failed to enforce COVID-19 restrictions, according to a report by the Daily Gazette.
“Those who make racist and violent threats will be held accountable by my office with the full weight of the law,” James said in a statement. “The charges against David Elmendorf should serve as a warning that hate crimes will not be tolerated on my watch and we will not allow any individual to use the color of someone’s skin as a weapon.”
James said her office can now sue anyone who makes false, race-based police reports to local officials, after the state legislature last June made those types of calls illegal.
The law was spurred by the case of Amy Cooper — who called 911 last year falsely claiming that a black man birdwatching in Central Park was “threatening” her.
Elmendorf’s criminal defense attorney James Mermigis told The Post his client “categorically denies all allegations. We will get justice once all of the evidence comes out.”
Mermigis claimed Elmendorf was being attacked by protesters, that one of his friends was beaten up by them, and that his client was “defending himself.”