A 57-year-old ice cream vendor was knocked to the ground and robbed of about $30 Tuesday in an attack that was captured on a security camera in downtown Los Angeles.
A man and woman can be seen in the video walking up to the vendor as he pushed his ice cream cart on a sidewalk near 12th and Birch streets. They acted as though they were about to buy something before one of the individuals sucker-punched 57-year-old Miguel Medina, knocking him backward to the ground.
"They asked him for an ice cream, and when he bent down to grab the ice cream, that's when the guy hit him,” said vendor Adán Reyes. “He was already completely knocked out.”
Witnesses said Medina struck his head on the pavement, leaving him hospitalized in serious condition, police said. He has since been released from the hospital, police said.
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The attackers then ran across the street and took off in a dark Toyota Avalon with about $30 as Medina was left sprawled on the side of the street. Reyes said that was likely all the money Medina had made in sales that day.
No arrests were reported.
Police encouraged street vendors to report such crimes.
"Of course, crimes against street vendors who have been assaulted or robbed have risen," said Erick Ortiz, spokesman for the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department. "Obviously, we want to arrest those people who are making those assaults, and we don't want these vendors to feel sorry or to think that the police are not there for them.”
Anyone with information was asked to call LAPD investigators at 323-846-6572.
The department posted security camera video of the attack. Warning: Video contains disturbing images.