FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE) – Rose petals, oranges, broken glass and other merchandise on the sidewalk; that’s how one Fresno street vendor’s stand ended up on Thursday morning after he was assaulted. Fresno is no stranger to mobile vendor attacks, but this time, the suspect is another vendor.
“An older model gray Chevy sedan pulled up. Hispanic male adult gets out of the vehicle. For no reason he flips [the victim’s] table and starts beating him up,” said Fresno Police spokesman Felipe Uribe.
The attack happened around 8:30 a.m. on the corner of Cedar Avenue and Kings Canyon Road. The victim suffered minor injuries to his face. He went back to selling roses on the same corner shortly after talking to police.
The victim declined an interview but said he wasn’t robbed.
“It’s just a turf battle between two vendors,” said Uribe.
“What example are we setting as vendors now?” said Miguel Angel Ruiz, member of the Fresno Street Vendor Association.
The group was formed after a food vendor was murdered earlier this year. Ruiz said these rivalries give them a bad name, and he encourages workers to band together and share the streets.
“There’s room for everyone,” he said.
“We had an incident about a month ago, similar, where there was more of a mutual fight between two vendors because one arrived at an intersection at one corner where the other one had been typically at first,” said Uribe, adding that there were no reports of other recent attacks on this community besides these.
Fresno police are now working to catch the suspect, who could face battery and vandalism charges.
“If someone is out there victimizing hardworking individuals, we’re gonna pursue them and we’re gonna catch them,” said Uribe.
If you have any information about Thursday’s assault, contact the Fresno Police Department at (559) 621-7000.
In the meantime, Ruiz encourages fellow vendors to join the association, where they’re working with police and the City of Fresno to ensure protection.
For more information, contact Miguel Ruiz at (559) 709-2459.