A South Los Angeles street vendor who was brutally attacked and robbed by a group of masked men, an assault that happened in front of his daughter, is struggling to make ends meet now that his all his earnings were taken from him.
It was around 3 p.m. Saturday when Jose Carbajal was parked on the street, near Broadway and Manchester Avenue, selling t-shirts and other merchandise when all of a sudden, he was approached by the group of five masked thieves.
Carbajal said he felt what could have been a gun pressed against him before he was thrown to the ground.
A witness driving nearby captured the merciless attack on the street vendor on her cellphone camera.
Not only did the robbers make off with some of Carbajal’s merchandise, they also stole $2,200, his car registration, passport and his debit card, which they later used to purchase gas.
A single father, Carbajal said one of the worst parts of the whole experience was that it happened in front of his 8-year-old daughter who has autism.
“My message to them is may god continue to bless them,” he told KTLA in Spanish. “One day, it will not go so well. All of these people out here, we all work very hard to sustain life for our families, as I do for my daughter. What they did was something not very kind.”
Right now, Carbajal and his daughter are living in a hotel. He said he was saving up for an apartment, but since he was robbed, he will have to start from scratch.
“I look at it as I can’t let it affect my personal life,” he said in Spanish. “I need to continue moving forward. I have a daughter who depends on me, and failure is not an option.”
Just one day after the robbery and assault, he was back at work. He said he’s grateful to other street vendors on the block who support him, and he hopes his story serves as warning for others to stay aware of their surroundings.
“My message goes out to other street vendors. May you continue to be safe and be smart and be productive in your environment,” he said in Spanish. “It’s a dangerous job, but we need to continue doing this.”
Authorities with the Los Angeles Police Department said they are aware of the assault and robbery and are investigating the incident.
In the meantime, people have been reaching out to Carbajal and making donations through a GoFundMe campaign set up to help him recoup some of the losses from the brutal attack.