NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It is a sign of the times — getting a quick DNA test is now as easy as walking up to a truck.
“They flag us down, they pull us over, they talk to us,” owner and operator Jared Rosenthal said Wednesday. “Sometimes, because of the nature of the services, they want to be a little more discreet about it, but they do come or they’ll call the number.”
In this business, Rosenthal said he deals with all kinds of crazy situations all day, every day.
“We have people that want to get the specimen from their spouse without them knowing about it,” Rosenthal said. “We deal with a lot of drama, it’s constant drama.”
There have been instances where men have walked in with a baby to give DNA samples only to find out later they’re not related.
When asked by CBS 2’s Dave Carlin why he was taking the DNA test from the traveling truck, one unidentified man explained, “I’m paying child support anyways and I would do it anyways. You just want to know.”
“There’s a lot of difficult situations and tough moments and heartbreak,” Rosenthal said, adding that there are happy endings as well. “There’s a lot of good news that we’re able to deliver and there’s a lot of happy moments.”
For example, the test helped a 44-year-old Harlem man find his long lost 20-year-old daughter.
Rosenthal maintained that his credentials are legitimate and that his business is legal. In fact, he said he believes he is providing an essential service.
“It’s not something people talk about, but there is a big need for it,” he said.
Inwood resident Kesha Veras agreed.
“The mother is like ‘You’re the father.’ He says ‘No the heck I’m not.’ You don’t know. Right there, that’s how you find out,” Veras said.
As you might imagine, wherever Rosenthal’s truck goes it attracts attention. Reactions range from people saying ‘How could he?’ to others who saying ‘Why didn’t I think of that?’
“Yeah, more power to him,” said Manny Castillo of Elizabeth, N.J.
“It’s a good idea!” added Marlin Martinez of Inwood.
“He’s gonna always have customers, unfortunately,” Dominique Dale said.
Rosenthal said he takes it all in stride.
“Half the job is to be a psychologist to folks,” he said.
The DNA tests, which cost between $299 and $575, require a simple cheek swab from each participant and lab analysis. Results are available in a couple of days.
For more information on the DNA testing truck, click here.
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