Man savagely beats San Jose street food vendor
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A viral video circulating on social media shows a horrific crime, captured by a cellphone camera.
Shortly after a concert Thursday night at SAP Center in Downtown San Jose, a sidewalk food vendor was savagely beaten.
"There’s a difference when you see it online. But it’s very different when you see it in person. Because you can’t just believe that this is actually real," said one witness, who asked not to be identified due to fears for her safety.
She recorded one of several clips of the fight.
The exiting arena crowd had just attended singer Ana Gabriel’s concert. Before heading home, some attendees stopped for food from a sidewalk vendor, near stairs on the south side of SAP Center, along Santa Clara Street, near Cahill Street.
Witnesses said the alleged attacker and vendor, identified as Saul Rencono, argued over the speed of service, and payment. The attacker then left, but quickly return when a female friend of his got involved in an argument with the vendor.
"…came from behind and hit me," Rencono said, recalling the incident. He also said the suspect threw a beer can at him right before the altercation.
Rencono is a resident of Oakland and is currently recovering at home but is still in a lot of pain. He suffered a broken nose, black eye, busted lip and has a terrible headache.
"My neck is killing me," he said.
Rencono said he was with his wife selling hot dogs outside the SAP Center, something they have done for over 27 years at major events.
SEE ALSO: Group of drivers allegedly 'dooring' East Bay bicyclists, leaves 2 hospitalized
"When that altercation was happening between the girl and the street vendor, the guy comes in from literally the back, and just straight socks him, and like knocks him out cold to the ground," said the witness.
The suspect then kicked the downed vendor twice in the head, before running away from the arena grounds.
"Conflict resolution. Unfortunately, road rage seems to be not exclusive to the roadways these days," said San Jose State University Justice Studies professor Greg Woods.
A San Jose police official said this incident happened around 11:45 p.m. and that it has been assigned to an investigator.
SAP Center released a statement on the incident.
"Safety at SAP Center events continues to be our top priority. We continue to actively communicate with City officials to ensure that public spaces outside of the arena are safe for all guests. We will continue to prioritize this issue until an adequate solution is reached," the statement read.
Street vendor beaten outside of SAP Center in Downtown San Jose.
"You have to say something right away. Because, again, the problem is, if you don’t say something, someone else will say something. And that’s where all the speculation starts," said Dr. Matt Cabot, a San Jose State public relations expert.
READ MORE: San Jose city audit shows police response times slipping
Some witnesses said they snapped pictures showing the suspect’s vehicle plate number. While some hope for a quick arrest, there is shock, dismay, and disgust that such violence took place minutes after the concert ended.
"If I can put in my part and make a difference in this…hopefully the man/vendor can get justice, I will. Because truly this is a hurtful crime," said the witness.
Renconco says he does not have health insurance and is unsure how he will pay his hospital bills.
San Jose police have not yet released a description of the attacker. Additional witnesses of the incident outside SAP Center Thursday are asked to contact the police.
Jesse Gary is a reporter based in the station's South Bay bureau. Follow him on Twitter, @JesseKTVU and Instagram, @jessegontv. KTVU reporter Elissa Harrington contributed to this report.