Charlotte ice cream man assaulted in 2018 speaks about repeat offender getting back into trouble

Man, arrested 63 times, is same man accused of assaulting ice cream man in 2018

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Toribio Alberto still has old newspaper articles that detail the assault he says he suffered at the hands of two men.

The incident happened near a shopping center on Archdale Drive in south Charlotte back in 2018.

Alberto says he was making his rounds selling ice cream when the two men attacked him. Two suspects, Romell Mackey and Wesley Fontaine, were charged in connection to the incident.

Mackey had already been arrested several times for various crimes at the time of the incident involving Alberto. The suspect has found himself in and out of jail several times in the last few years.

Mackey was most recently charged for assaulting multiple police officers Tuesday night. Police said Mackey had previously been arrested 63 times in Mecklenburg County.

The ice cream man said he was surprised to learn Mackey was out of jail and still being charged with crimes. Alberto spoke to WBTV through a translator Thursday night.

“Selling ice cream is a good job because the people love you and you love them, but when you’re scared and you’re around people that you’re helping, it’s disappointing,” said Alberto through a translator.

Alberto said it took two months to recover physically and mentally after the beating he took. He said he doesn’t understand how one of the men accused of doing this to him can keep getting back on the streets.

“I don’t know what the state of North Carolina is doing with people like these. I don’t know what’s wrong with the laws or they just get the money and then let them out,” Alberto said.

Marcus Philemon, a spokesperson from CharMeck Court Watch, has been tracking repeat offenders like Mackey for years. Philemon thinks too many people are allowed back on the streets before they have their day in court.

“You’ve got individuals out there on electronic monitoring that are committing rape, armed robbery. This individual’s bond was unsecured, just a couple weeks ago he was released,” said Philemon regarding Mackey

Alberto said he’s in his 60s and is still working to make money. He thinks young men like Mackey need to do the same.

“Stop going out armed. You’re so young. Find work,” said Alberto through a translator.

In the past, the magistrate’s office in Mecklenburg County has pointed to research in response to questions about repeat offenders.

The data shows that while Mecklenburg County released more defendants, they didn’t see a big increase in new criminal charges during the pre-trial periods.

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