Cristian Cocuzza was working the counter of his family's Powelton Village pizza shop last Sunday when a college-age customer stormed in holding his phone like it was toxic.
Cristian did not need to ask him what was on the screen. He knew exactly what it was.
It was the story.
The horrible story that so many mistakenly thought had something to do with his family's business.
"It no us!" Cristian told the customer, something he feels like he has said a thousand times this past week. "It no us! Scroll down! Read the full article!"
It has been a trying week for the Cocuzza family, the proud proprietors of Powelton Pizza on Lancaster Avenue who have inadvertently been dragged into a sad and awful story that, as Cristian said, has nothing to do with them.
The trouble for the family, originally from Palermo, Sicily, began with an unfortunate headline and was exacerbated by our collective tendency to skim headlines and feel we know the whole story. To fail to scroll down.
Last Friday, the Inquirer, the Daily News, and Philly.com published a brief article on Jose Dany Zacarias-Jaramillo, who was sentenced to nine years in federal prison after admitting to collecting and trading thousands of sexually explicit images of children.
The article explained how, after receiving a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, federal agents traced Zacarias-Jaramillo's online activity to his workplace: Ed's Buffalo Wings & Pizza.
Ed's is also in Powelton Village. Right down the street from the Cocuzzas' place.
"Powelton pizza shop worker gets 9 years for child porn," read the headline.
Powelton, meaning the neighborhood, not Powelton Pizza. Pizza with a lowercase "p."
But you can see the problem.
"See the sign outside, what does it say? Powelton Pizza," Cristian, who owns the shop with his brother Alessandro, said when I stopped in Thursday. "The article's headline, what does it say? Powelton pizza."
And like I said, some people actually read the stories. Some don't.
The confusion started immediately.
The Cocuzzas' college regulars were telling them word around Drexel was one of their workers was busted for watching child porn at work.
The families from the Gwendolyn Bye Dance Center down the block, who usually come after Saturday rehearsals, never showed.
Vincenzo Cocuzza, who taught his sons the business, sat at an outside table, aghast, as passersby peered and snapped photos like they were visiting a crime scene.
"I feel shame," said Vincenzo, who worked as a police officer back in Italy.
All week, Alessandro, who manages the shop's many big catering accounts - at places like Drexel, the University of Pennsylvania, the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and the Ronald McDonald House - was answering the same question again and again from frantic clients:
"Alex, what happened?"
"Scroll down," he told them.
Marta Cocuzza visits the shop to cook dinner for her husband and sons, serving up favorite dishes like her pasta al forno, made with bolognese, eggplant, ricotta, and fresh mozzarella.
Alessandro made sure to have her sit down before telling her.
Still, she went pale.
"Alex, fix this, please," she said.
Meanwhile, everything was just fine over at Ed's.
"Nobody's said a word about it," Ed's manager, Juana Palonia, said Thursday. "Not one person."
What makes the Cocuzzas more nervous is that they are still new to the neighborhood - people are still getting to know them.
They bought the business a year and half ago and threw their heart into it, redecorating, installing a shiny, high-volume pizza oven, and expanding the menu to include Grandma Maria's delicious thin-crust pizza and classics like lasagna, chicken cacciatore, and eggplant parmesan.
They've worked hard to build up their reputation.
They want to keep it.
It wasn't them, everybody.
So drop in and grab a slice. The pizza's delicious.