JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The story of the local pediatric dentist accused of abusing children has become a problem for another dentist in New York who shares the same name.
When the news started spreading locally and then nationally about the allegations of abuse by Dr. Howard S. Schneider toward children in his care, an anti-Dr. Howard Schneider campaign began -- which created a problem for Dr. Howard W. Schneider, a dentist in New York.
"We have been getting a lot of phone calls and a lot of emails that have been unbelievably nasty. We got one the other day that it was the FBI and they were going to bomb our building," Dr. Howard W. Schneider said.
Dr. Schneider from New York contacted News4Jax about the mix-up Thursday morning and said the complaints have been nonstop.
"Some people have said, ‘Oh sorry, we have wrong person,' but probably half we don't hear back from at all," Dr. Howard W. Schneider said.
The case of mistaken identity has been so bad that when that when people call to ask for Dr. Schneider, the receptionist answers the phone, "Dr. Howard W. Schneider's office from Huntington, New York, not Jacksonville, Florida, how can I help you?"
"For a while, my receptionist was saying 'I'm not answering any more messages out of the area code. I can't take this abuse anymore,'" Dr. Howard W. Schneider said.
Despite the backlash, Dr. Howard W. Schneider's office is getting some benefit. The number of likes on his Facebook page has more than quadrupled since it began.
"I started getting all kinds of positive feedback from people in Jacksonville, Florida, saying sorry for the mix-up," Dr. Howard W. Schneider said.
At Dr. Howard W. Schneider's request, from now on News4Jax.com articles will show the middle initial to help clarify the difference between these two dentists.