MANHATTAN — A well-known Bleecker Street butcher turned himself into police to face hate crime charges after handing an African American delivery driver a noose, police said.
Joe Ottomanelli, of Ottomanelli & Sons Meat Market, was charged with harassment as a hate crime after he handed driver Victor Sheppard, 36, a noose made out of yellow rope last month and told him, “here’s your present,” according to the NYPD, sources and a report in Patch West Village.
It was not immediately clear where and when exactly he turned himself in.
The butcher also told Sheppard, “If you are stressed at work, you can put this around your neck and ease the pain,” sources said.
The driver, who works for Mosner Family Brands, went to the Sixth Precinct after being handed the noose and told investigators that Ottomanelli had also joked with him a few years prior about black people not being able to sit in the front of the bus.
The incident, which was first reported by the Daily News, was investigated by the NYPD’s Hate Crime Task Force.
Ottomanelli was expected to be arraigned in Manhattan Criminal Court Wednesday evening.