Recent attacks on Los Angeles street vendors inspired a man to step in and help by providing the vendors with pepper spray, stun guns and personal security items.
When Edin Enamorado saw a surveillance video of a fruit vendor in Long Beach being attacked by two men in January, he felt compelled to do something.
“It’s just sad, it’s sad what’s going on, you know,” Enamorado said.
He showed his stash of pepper spray bottles.
“These are the last ones I have today, I have to restock,” he said. “I had over 40 this weekend!”
What started as a charity to help protect street vendors by teaching them how to protect themselves, turned into a mission to stop the violence against the often vulnerable businesses.
“Our goal isn’t just to hand out this (stun guns), but also contract security guards to randomly drive by and protect street vendors to stop this madness you know?”
Enamorado hopes to make the vendors feel safer.
“They’re very grateful, a lot of them have the experience of being attacked or being robbed. Especially the ones I provided security for, they feel safer now,” he said.
Telemundo 52 reporter Raymond Mesa spoke with the Long Beach victim in January, just one of many who had similar stories to share.
The Long Beach man was beaten so badly in July in Marina del Rey that he was nearly unrecognizable. It’s those heartbreaking stories that Enamorado says pushes him to do something to help.
“I want to send a message out there to anyone thinking about attacking a vendor, that they’re no longer alone. I would want them to think twice. If they’re thinking twice now, to me, that would be an accomplishment,” he added.
A GoFundMe account is how he’s hoping to continue his mission, using those funds to pay for the protection he says street vendors across California need.