Lisa Moorer assumed that one of her loyal customers was trying to flag her down when she heard shouting Sunday afternoon as she steered her ice cream truck through a familiar James Island neighborhood.
She glanced in the rear-view mirror and saw four boys she knew approaching her brightly colored truck along Clark Sound Circle in Bay View Farms. But when she pulled over, she learned it was not the kids shouting about ice cream.
It was a man racing toward her with a pistol in his hand, she said.
“He came flying out of nowhere from his backyard screaming,” Moorer said. “He was very upset.”
Richard Lee Hill, 59, reportedly grew agitated with Moorer selling ice cream near his home around 4:30 p.m., which he believed violated a posted “No soliciting” sign in the neighborhood, Charleston police said.
So Hill went into his home, retrieved a loaded 9 mm pistol from his bedroom closet and pointed the gun at Moorer as a group of frightened children looked on, according to an arrest affidavit.
“Get the (expletive) out of here,” a police report quoted Hill as saying. “There is no (expletive) soliciting in this neighborhood.”
Fearing for her life, Moorer fled around the block with the children and called 911.
“They were very shaken up,” said Moore, a driver for Hometown Catering’s Ice Cream Team. “They were telling me how scared they were.”
Officers found Hill sitting on his back porch talking quietly with a friend. He told them the gun was inside his house, according to the report.
Hill acknowledged having the gun outside earlier, but said he kept it pointed at the ground and there was no bullet in the chamber, the report said. Police seized the pistol and placed it into evidence.
“I really screwed up,” he told his friend as police took him into custody, an arrest affidavit stated.
Police charged Hill with pointing and presenting a firearm. He released from the Charleston County jail Monday in lieu of $25,000 bail.
Moorer, 52, said she’s had a few people complain about the musical jingle her ice cream truck plays, but never before had she encountered any violence.
She’s just not sure what to make of her encounter with Hill, whom neighbors told her is usually a nice guy, she said.
“You don’t know why people do what they do,” she said. “Who knows, maybe his mother didn’t buy him ice cream when he was a kid.”
Reach Glenn Smith at 937-5556 or Twitter.com/glennsmith5.