Adventures of a “Pizza Nazi”: Did Whitney Aycock Break into Old Building and Haul Off a $15,000 Pizza Oven?
Police in Rockaway Beach say the Whit’s End owner pulled off a heist that may go down in pizza industry history.
Pizzaiolo Whitney Aycock, owner of Whit’s End in Rockaway Beach, delights in his nickname: the Pizza Nazi.
The so-called “Pizza Nazi” of Rockaway Beach doesn’t care if you like him or not, but he knows you’ll love his woodfired pizza. Too bad the colorful New Yorker can’t stay out of trouble with the law.
Whitney Aycock, who owns Whit’s End in Rockaway Park, has been charged with criminal mischief after allegedly breaking into the site of his restaurant’s former location and stealing a massive Stefano Ferrara pizza oven. Police say Aycock and a friend cut a hole in the wall of the former Whit’s End Pizza location, loaded the $15,000 oven onto a forklift and hauled it away on a flatbed truck.
According to DNAInfo.com, video surveillance shows Aycock and his friend entering the restaurant before the camera was covered up. Aycock’s attorney denies that Aycock did anything wrong, saying the oven belongs to Aycock. “When he rented this piece of property, it had absolutely nothing in it, and all the equipment that he moved in that place belonged to him,” Joseph Mure, Jr. told DNAInfo.com.
Jamie Wiseman, whose company owns the building, sees it differently. “It was not his oven—it was never his oven,” he told DNAInfo. “We purchased and supplied that oven and provided evidence of that to police.”
Aycock has become known as the “Pizza Nazi”—a nickname he gleefully embraces—because he reportedly does not suffer fools gladly, even those who want to give him money. Request a slice, and he’ll give you a thorough cussing instead. “If you want a slice, go to Elegante’s,” he supposedly told a customer once. “I don’t give a f***.” As Grubstreet.com describes it, “Ask for faster service at his shop, and he’ll tell you to leave. Request a pizza that isn’t on his menu, and he’ll charge you a 500 percent mark-up.” Aycock, the article adds, “is so intense about his pizza that a former employee once spit in his face, a shoving match ensued, and the cops were called.”
This isn’t Aycock’s first brush with the law. The outspoken pizzaiolo was arrested last August for allegedly growing marijuana behind the old location of his restaurant. Although Aycock insisted he was merely cultivating lemon verbena and catnip—or thought he was, anyway—DNAInfo says he pleaded guilty to a charge of pot possession in December. The Queens district attorney alleged that Aycock screamed and cursed as police officers arrested and handcuffed him.
After his arrest on the weed charge, he shut down the original Whit’s End location and reopened in Riis Park Bazaar. The current website and Facebook page for Whit’s End testify to Aycock’s nonconformist attitude, with salty language sprinkled throughout the menu and, ironically, a photo of a sign that reads, “Hey, Kids, No Hope in Dope!”