Update: Ice Cream Man Criminals

On May 14, 2008, in News 2008, by Mark Norris

Reported by: Jeni DiPrizio, myeyewitnessnews.com May 14, 2008 MEMPHIS, TN – Eyewitness News Everywhere Uncovers pedophiles and murderers peddling ice cream to your children and there is no law to prevent it. Chief Investigator Jeni DiPrizio found prostitutes, drug dealers, murders, and sex offenders driving ice cream trucks in Memphis. But what is even more […]

Reported by: Jeni DiPrizio, myeyewitnessnews.com
May 14, 2008

MEMPHIS, TN – Eyewitness News Everywhere Uncovers pedophiles and murderers peddling ice cream to your children and there is no law to prevent it.

Chief Investigator Jeni DiPrizio found prostitutes, drug dealers, murders, and sex offenders driving ice cream trucks in Memphis. But what is even more disturbing is that there are no rules or regulations requiring background checks. Anyone can operate an ice cream truck.

Memphis Police Officer Joe Patty, who is also an ice cream truck owner, is concerned about the lack of regulations. “The main reason I got into this business is because of who’s driving behind the wheel,” said Patty.

Patty says the next time your child runs to the ice cream truck for a tasty treat think of this. There are no rules or regulations requiring background checks. There is nothing in the state law that prevents criminals including sex offenders from driving an ice cream truck.

Here are just some of the ice cream truck drivers who surfaced during the Eyewitness News Everywhere investigation:

Ivan Pryor is a registered sex offender and he has been arrested for rape of a child, exposing himself to a minor, sexual exploitation, and exposing himself to a person under the age of 13. Pryor is now in prison, but according to public records he was selling ice cream to children.

David Russell, a convicted murderer, was driving an ice cream truck just three years ago, according to public records.

Michael Dean, also a registered sex offender, was a former Frosty Treats employee, according to public records. Dean no longer works for the company, but records show he was hired in 2002. A spokesperson for the company says that was before Frosty Treats contracted with a national company to do comprehensive background checks on all of its employees.

Patty says while you can track down drivers who work for local companies, independents drivers roam from one city to another. There is no way to look the drivers up or track them down if anything happens.

Patty wants regulation, whether it means forcing ice cream truck drivers to get a permit or banning certain types of criminals from the job.

Shelby County Commissioner Mike Carpenter says he will look into what can be done to require drivers to undergo background checks. State lawmakers are also considering toughening laws regarding where sex offenders can go. That law would ban sex offenders from dressing up like clowns and magicians or having puppet shows. State Senator Mark Norris says ice cream truck drivers are not on the list this year, but could be added next session.

There are some things parents can do to make sure kids are safe:

Go to the ice cream truck with your child.
You can ask the driver’s boss if the company does background checks.
You can also make sure you buy from ice cream companies that have a permit from the health department and a business license.