A 71-year-old grandfather who sells paletas from his ice cream cart seven days a week and was beaten severely and robbed has finally received his GoFundMe money after an outpouring of support from donors all over.
With a smile on his face and gratitude in his heart, Juan Martinez and his family are celebrating a Thanksgiving like no other.
"We want to say thanks to everybody because it's Thanksgiving and it's a day to be thankful," his daughter-in-law Laura Rodriguez said.
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Back in October when Juan was attacked on the street of North Hollywood, he wanted to go back to work despite his severe injuries.
"It's is very hard. You try to reason with him and he's an older Mexican man that wants to work until he dies," Laura said.
Juan has been Selling ice cream since arriving in the U.S. nearly 30 years ago and it's how he supports his family.
After the attack, Martinez, a father of seven and grandfather of seven, says no one stopped to help him. He didn't have a cellphone to call for help, so he had no choice but to walk a mile back to his home, leaving behind a trail of blood from his fractured nose and cuts on his face.
Hoping to convince him to take a break, Laura set up a GoFundMe account with the goal of raising $15,000. News coverage of his plight led to an outpouring of support.
"I went to Don Juan and told him '$8,000 overnight,' and he started crying because he didn't believe so many people had the good heart to give to somebody they didn't know," Laura said.
The fund eventually generated more than $87,000 from donors around the country. On Thanksgiving, Juan thanked everyone for their generosity.
He says he was very happy and didn't yet know what he'll do with the money, but his daughter-in-law knows of one thing he will no longer be doing: selling ice cream on the street.
"We've already returned the cart. He's no longer going to go," Laura said.