Critical Mass Miami: Charges Dropped Against Bike-Riding Ice Cream Chef AJ Constantin
Local chef AJ Constantin is in the clear after Miami Police officers failed to attend a 9:45 court hearing this morning. Judge Andrea Wolfson promptly dismissed the charges against Constantin. He was arrested earlier this summer for selling his gourmet ice cream from the back of his tricycle after a Critical Mass bike ride.
"I'm thrilled," Constantin tells Riptide. "It was a very, very easy procedure: I was called, the cops didn't show up, and the judge smirked and said 'case dismissed.'"
Wolfson's decision brings to an end an odd couple of months for Constantin. He was arrested on June 28 while slinging basel-flavored ice cream to Critical Mass bikers at the Filling Station downtown.
Even though Constantin had permission to sell on Filling Station property, cops claimed he was operating without a license. They also said he resisted arrest. When they handcuffed him, the crowd of bikers began throwing objects at the cops.
Constantin says the arrest -- and New Times's coverage -- has helped raise the profile of his fledgling business Sear'N Gears (he is also a chef at Michael's Genuine).
But it has also cost him at least $700 in cancelled events. Thankfully, he says, local attorney and Miami Beach city commission candidate Michael Grieco volunteered his services pro bono.
"He's an amazing guy," Constantin says of Grieco. "he seemed really passionate about clearing things up because he thought the charges were total garbage."
Constantin says he plans to keep selling his ice cream just like before his arrest. He intends to bring his tricycle cooler to Critical Mass on August 30 and the PBR Ride the next day.
Now that his legal trouble is over with, he even plans to push his arrest-inspired po-po pops.
"I didn't want to bring attention before the trial," he says of sitting on the secret ice cream weapon. "Now I want to figure out a way to bring the po-po pops to the masses on a bigger scale."
Thanks to Random Pixels for the tip.