Moral Low Ground

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‘Douche du Jour’: “Food Terrorism by Mice”

Nickolas Galiatsatos, owner of a struggling Philadelphia-area pizzeria, thought he hatched the perfect plan to damage his competitors’ business and maybe help his own restaurant rebound. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the 47-year-old Galiatsatos visited several pizzerias located near his Upper Darby store, Nina’s Bella Pizzeria, and pretended he had to use their toilets. While in the bathroom, he would release a bag full of mice that he hoped would cause such a scandal as to sent competitors’ customers fleeing.

(Photo: George Shuklin)

Galiatsatos was on such a mission yesterday when he ran into some unexpected trouble at Verona Pizzeria on West Chester Pike. Two policemen, Verona regulars, happened to be having lunch at the restaurant when Galiatsatos the rodent-raider tucked into the restroom to do his thing. After he left, Verona co-owner Fanis Facas checked out the bathroom (he’d heard some noise when Galiatsatos was in there) and discovered a bag in his drop ceiling. He notified the two cops in the dining room and they removed the bag from the pizzeria before opening it. Inside were three white mice.

The officers, Eric Colella and Ryan Wiseley, spotted Galiastsatos leaving Uncle Nick’s Pizza across the street, where he’d just left half a dozen mice in a trash can, and nabbed him.

“We have never had anything like this, where mice have been used as an instrument of crime,” Upper Darby police superintendent Michael Chitwood told the Inquirer. “This is food terrorism by mice,” he said. “The defendant has had mice problems in his store,” Chitwood¬† explained. “He felt the owners of Nick’s and Verona put mice in his store, so he was getting even with them.”

The mice are safe and sound (for now), placed in the custody of the Upper Darby Animal Control. Galiatsatos will be charged with criminal mischief, disorderly conduct, cruelty to animals, and harassment.

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