A man is missing after attempting to stand up for a 7-Eleven worker, and the family of the missing man believes that incident may have led to be his disappearance.
The racially-charged incident occurred at the 7-Eleven on the corner of 7th Street and Olive Street during the afternoon of Tuesday, May 1st, after a MayDay march for immigrant rights. It came to light after a store patron posted the cellphone video she recorded on Facebook.
At the beginning of the three minute and 25 second recording, a woman is upset that the store clerk is not immediately heating up the food the woman has brought into the store. Others are ahead of her in line. The woman unleashed a torrent of profane, vulgar and racist abuse against the Latina clerk, who speaks limited English. Then when one of the customers, a homeless 59-year-old named Frankie Martinez, objected to the verbal abuse and told the woman to be patient, she re-focused her vitriol on him, and at one point her companion began punching him.
On the video, Martinez appeared to be leaving the store when one of the attackers loudly confronted him, kicked his bag and knocked a hot dog out of his hands. The woman continued with an explicit tirade in front of several patrons, many of whom brought out cellphone cameras.
The woman could be heard saying "Go back to Mexico" and "That's why your family get [sic] deported" while her companion appeared to be recording with her own cellphone camera. Martinez then asked the store clerk for another hot dog to replace the one that has been hit to the ground.
Moments later, the incident escalated to another level when the shouting woman took Martinez's luggage out of the store doorway. When Martinez rushed to get his bags back, the second woman grabbed him and began punhing him.
As the video continued, Martinez took punches to the head, and the woman who took his luggage outside came back into the store and joined in the assault. None of the others visible on Olvera's recordign appeared to make an effort to intercede. Olvera herself said she feared the angry women had weapons they would deploy. The store clerk, who asked not to be identified, late expressed a similar fear.
Olvera's video also appears to shows a Los Angeles Department of Transportation officer present in the store, walking past after the hot dog is knocked to the floor.
"She says really clearly on the video, 'He's a traffic officer. He's not going to arrest me,'" Olvera says. DoT officers are not armed.
It was not visible on Olvera's video, but Martinez was punched again outside the store by the couple as they left. Afterwards, a cut to his head was visible, the clerk said.
Police and paramedics responded, but Martinez refused medical assistance. Both the abusers were already gone.
Martinez's family became aware of the incident recorded by Olvera only after her Facebook posting was shared by a mutual acquaitance.
Martinez's family says that he suffers from anxiety and has always stayed in touch despite 15 years on the street.
The identities of the two attackers are not known, nor are their whereabouts. Dahlia Martinez, Frankie's sister, filed a missing persons report with the LAPD and expressed hope her brother will be found safe.