A street vendor in Hollywood recorded a heated confrontation with a man walking his dog which ends with an overturned food cart.
On July 17, the vendor, Benjamin Ramirez, recorded the bearded man on his cell phone, demanding in Spanish he remove his food cart from the sidewalk. "If you don't move it, I'll move it," the man says in Spanish.
The man is with a woman who also exchanges expletives with Ramirez when he refuses to comply with the pair's orders.
In the now viral video, the man, who is wearing a Guns N' Roses t-shirt, is seen approaching Ramirez with what appears to be a Taser or stun gun in his right hand. The vendor reacts by throwing chili powder at the man which in turn, enrages the man and he overturns the food cart.
Ramirez turns the camera on himself explaining in Spanish, what the man had just done, calling him "racist." The man responds by telling him he's Argentine, and calls the vendor a derogatory term the disabled community is against.
Ramirez's mother, Imelda Reyes, posted the video on her Facebook page early Tuesday morning. The video has since racked up more than five million views.
In April, an incident involving street vendors and city officials was caught on camera near Southside Park in Sacramento, sparking concern over how code enforcement was handled. Fatima Garcia, an executive board member on the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA), recorded county health department employees dumping out drink products and seizing equipment of vendors operating without a permit.
According to Sacramento City code, it's illegal to sell food on public sidewalks or streets without a permit for a special event or permission for commercial use of a sidewalk.
Officials arrived across the street from the park, where many members of the Latino community attend church, to enforce a joint operation between the Sacramento County Environmental Management Department (EMD) with assistance from the City's Code Enforcement Department, to crack down on illegal vendors.
The vendors were warned in both Spanish and English weeks before the incident, that their equipment would be confiscated if they continued to operate without a permit, according to a memo sent to Sacramento City Council by Community Development Director, Ryan DeVore, on May 3.
Members of the LCLAA said the situation should not have escalated the way it did and took their concerns to the Sacramento City Council. The city said it would review the way city codes are enforced.
The Hollywood confrontation is being investigated by the Los Angeles City Attorney as misdemeanor vandalism, according to ABC7. Ramirez told ABC7, he wants the damages paid for or the man put in jail. He also said he'd had several negative encounters with the man in the video. Police haven't named the man yet.