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Street Vending

Woman Who Attacked Flower Vendor Arrested That Same Day, ‘I Just Wanted to Work’ He Says

1:54 PM PDT on April 26, 2021

e know the risk is there when we go out, but you never know if, when, or how it will happen that day, I had some free time, and I just wanted to work.”

On Sunday, April 25, Inglewood flower vendor Ernesto Francisco was selling flowers outside the Inglewood Cemetery when at approximately 11 AM, he was randomly attacked by a woman who appeared to be having a mental health crisis. 

Francisco said the woman got off a bus and almost immediately attacked people in the streets verbally. At that moment, the flower vendor decided to move further away from the scene to avoid any altercation with her. 

“But she still followed me, and I've always been a person that respects people. I don't like arguing or disrespecting anyone, so I got up on the sidewalk to make space for her to pass through,” he said over the phone. “But she began insulting me and eventually threw out three flower bouquets.”

The 28-year-old vendor from Puebla, Mexico, described how he stayed quiet the entire time and at some point even turned his back to her in hopes that she would go away. But when the woman noticed Francisco was not paying attention to her, she reached over, grabbed some flowers, and began to strike him. You see when she begins to hit the vendor in the video, eventually pushing him to the ground and taking off with flowers in her hand. 

Onlookers who were driving by tried to intervene. Still, according to Francisco, the woman who the vendor described as a bit delirious began to attack anyone who told her to stop. Throwing items to cars and people around her, but as soon as she was done, she’d go back to verbally attacking the vendor.

“Thank God for the people who were around me and tried to help me,” he said, his voice a bit shaky still from the incident early that morning. “I know I don't know them, and at that moment, I couldn't answer any of their questions because I was in shock, but I’m so thankful for them, and I hope they know that.”

Since the incident, a GoFundMe was set up for Francisco where people can donate funds that will help him while he takes a break from selling flowers to mentally recover from the attack. He was also visited by Edin Enamorado, the man who equips vendors with security. In the video, Enamorado ensures the vendor that he will be there to provide security for him whenever he is ready to go back out. 

Francisco said this is not the first time he has been attacked, but it is the first time the attack led to police being called because it quickly escalated. 

According to the Inglewood Police Department, the woman who attacked Francisco was arrested that same day; news that brings a bit of ease to the flower vendor. However, he does want to remind people always to show respect to their local vendors. 

“If there could be less discrimination towards street vendors, that would be great. We are earning money in an honest way. We aren’t committing any crimes were just trying to earn a living just like everyone else here. That’s all.”

The interview was conducted in Spanish and translated into English by the author.

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