A beloved neighborhood ice cream truck driver was in stable condition Tuesday night after he was beaten in an attempted mugging by three young men, possibly teenagers, deputies in Whittier said.
Investigators said the robbers entered the truck and when the driver of the truck appeared, he was hit over the head with a blunt object, which may have been a baseball bat.
The man, known as "David the ice cream man," was airlifted to a hospital around 4:30 p.m. near California High School.
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The assault occurred at 4:21 p.m. at Hawes and Ruoff streets.
Deputies said it doesn't appear that the three young men got away with any money, just candy.
The three scattered in different directions after the attack, and no one got a good look at them.
"He's really nice," Beatris Loera, student, said. "Since he knows us, he'll give us discounts and give us free stuff."
Some students were working to raise money for the victim. He had cuts, swelling and a possible concussion.
"It's just sad that kids or people like that can do horrible things to someone that brings joy to little kids," Jose Urita, a neighbor who lives nearby, said.
Students started a GoFundMe account to help with the man's medical bills. By Wednesday evening, it had reached more than $1,000 out of $5,000.