Police scoop up late night ice cream thieves at ArtCliff Diner

The scene of the late-night crime. — Photo by Ralph Stewart

Three Island teens face felony charges following a late-night arrest for breaking and entering at the ArtCliff Diner, on Beach Road in Vineyard Haven, early Saturday morning, September 3, over the Labor Day holiday weekend.

Two officers used multiple doses of pepper spray to subdue and cuff one of the trio, who struggled vigorously with police, according to an official report of the incident.

Police arrested Nicholas R. Giliberto, 19, of Tisbury, Ryan Cameron Fisher, 18, of Oak Bluffs, and a 16-year-old Tisbury juvenile.

The incident began at about 2 am. Detective Mark Santon was driving along Beach Road when he saw three young men walking away from the ArtCliff, behaving in a suspicious manner, according to his police report.

He turned his police cruiser around and parked next to an adjacent office building. As he walked toward the three young men, he recognized the juvenile.

One of the young men, he wrote in his report, later identified as Mr. Giliberto, “had a softball-size glob of what appeared to be melting off-white colored ice cream in his hand, with no wrapping around it. This subject repeatedly smashed the large glob of ice cream into his face. The male’s face, chest, and stomach were covered with melted ice cream.”

Questioned, the young man told Detective Santon he got the ice cream at his friend’s house, but he could not remember the friend’s name or the location of the house. “In between answers, he kept mashing the large ball of ice cream into his face,” Mr. Santon said.

One of the young men fled. Mr. Santon radioed for Officer Jason Marathas to assist. He asked Mr. Giliberto to drop the ice cream and identify himself.

“Nicholiy Skyvinchy,” he said. Mr. Santon asked him to spell it. Then asked him again. The two versions did not match.

Officer Marathas arrived, and Detective Santon followed a drip trail of ice cream back to the diner. Window screens had been pushed out of three windows, and the front door was unlocked, according to the report. The detective discovered a “fist-size divot” in a five-gallon pail of Richardson’s vanilla ice cream.

Mr. Santon told Mr. Giliberto he was under arrest for breaking and entering. A violent struggle began, Mr. Santon said.

“Officer Marathas was able to place one handcuff on this person’s left wrist. The subject then broke loose his left arm and was thrashing about with the loose handcuff swinging in the air,” he said.

Detective Santon said that despite repeated requests that he stop resisting and place his hands behind his back, Mr. Giliberto fought the officers. He said all three had scrapes. Using pepper spray, the officers were able to handcuff the young man and place him in the cruiser.

Later in the day, police arrested the juvenile, who had fled during the struggle, and Mr. Fisher.

Mr. Giliberto was arraigned Tuesday morning on charges of breaking and entering in the nighttime to commit a felony, larceny from a building, malicious destruction of property worth more than $250, resisting arrest, and arrestee furnishing a false name.

Mr. Fisher was arraigned on charges of breaking and entering in the nighttime to commit a felony, larceny from a building, and malicious destruction of property worth more than $250. Both young men are scheduled to appear in court on October 5.