MANHATTAN — A famed butcher at Ottomanelli’s on Bleecker Street is being investigated by the NYPD’s Hate Crime Task Force force for allegedly handing an African-American delivery driver a noose and telling him, “Here’s your present,” police sources said.
Driver Victor Sheppard, 36, told police that Joe Ottomanelli, of The Ottomanelli & Sons Meat Market, gave him a noose made of yellow rope when he made a drop-off at the store on Tuesday, sources said.
“If you are stressed at work, you can put this around your neck and ease the pain,” Ottomanelli allegedly told him, according to police sources.
Sheppard, who works for Mosner Family Brands, later went to the 6th Precinct stationhouse to report the incident and told police it was his second racist run-in with Ottomanelli in as many weeks, sources said.
Sheppard said Ottomanelli joked last week about black people not being able to sit in the front of the bus a few years ago, law-enforcement sources said.
Ottomanelli, 60, had not been charged as of Friday afternoon, but police were still probing the incident, sources said.
He could not immediately be reached for comment.
The butcher shop is among the most famous in New York and has been around for more than a century, according to its website.
The story was first reported by the New York Daily News.
Sheppard is slated to speak at the Rev. Al Sharpton’s weekly National Action Network conference Saturday.