A black delivery man is reportedly too traumatized to go back to work after getting handed a noose on his meat route by the owner of the famed Ottomanelli & Sons Meat Market.
The victim, Victor Sheppard, says continuing to work for Hunts Point meat distributor Mosner Family Brands doesn’t sit too comfortably with him when knowing they still serve to the Bleecker St. butcher shop who handed him the very racist and unsettling “gift.”
“It’s not easy returning to an environment where you mean nothing.”
Sheppard’s attorney Wylie Stecklow insisted the 37-year-old couldn’t continue to work.
“Victor could not return to that environment. His employer knew exactly what happened and was supportive but they never stopped doing business with Ottomanelli. Sheppard is unable to sleep through the night and unsure when his life will return to normal.”
Shepard’s boss, Michael Mosner, sings a different tune when describing the support they’ve attempted to give and claims “we were horrified about what happened” referring to the noose incident.
Mosner said Shepard could have applied for disability leave and was offered free counseling — but that he had not pursued either option. Shepard would’ve also been assigned a different delivery route keeping him away from Ottomanelli & Sons, but failed to show up to work on two occasions.
The meat distributor held his job until he “had no alternative” before sending him a note on June 9th informing him the company assumed he’d abandoned his job.
The hand fashioned noose was passed to Sheppard by Joe Ottomanelli on April 5 during a morning meat delivery where the 58-year-old attacked the deliveryman verbally with racial slurs according to a criminal complaint.
“Here is your gift. You can put it around your neck and pull if you want to end it all. If you are feeling stressed out I can help you with it.”
The butcher’s lawyer, Ron Kuby, said there was no malice attached to the bad “joke” and that Sheppard’s complaints about his ability to work boil down to nothing more than an attempt to make money off of the incident through a lawsuit. Kuby admits the noose ordeal was “hateful and deplorable” but argues it was an inappropriate prank and not a crime.
Ottomanelli was charged with a hate crime and is due in Manhattan Criminal Court on Sept. 19.
They keep getting bolder by the day eh?
via NY Daily News