Community rallies behind San Jose street vendors after attacks
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Dozens of people lined up Sunday in support of the street vendors who were attacked last week in San Jose.
The Street Vendor Buy Out was sponsored by Bay Area businesses and community organizers and all the proceeds were donated to the two vendors who were attacked.
"I feel blessed that all of these people are here now supporting us, me and Carlos," said Saul Reconco, the street vendor attacked near SAP Center.
People stood along Old Bayshore Highway waiting to get a taste of the food served up by Carlos Sanchez and l Reconco. Both vendors were attacked during the same week in San Jose.
"I want people to know that we are street vendors, and we deserve respect," Reconco said.
Reconco was hit in the head and kicked by an unidentified man just outside of SAP Center on February 16th after a concert.
Two days later, Sanchez was attacked with a bat on Old Bay Shore Highway near Hwy 101.
Police arrested Kintex Ho for allegedly attacking Sanchez.
"They’re just trying to make a living. A lot of people don’t know that street vending was decriminalized in 2018. Senate Bill 946 passed and now Senate Bill 972 passed. That solidified street vending, so I think we need to start getting rid of that stigma against street vending because I didn’t hear anybody complain when Netflix took Blockbuster out of business, and they never had a brick and mortar," said Edin Alex Enamorado, from Los Angeles.
Sponsors included Armandos Restaurant and Vennu Yoga Studio in Millbrae, which donated $800 to buy food for the Buy Out.
"I saw what happened to both of them on the news and I wanted to help out. I figured the only way I can really help out is to show up and also sponsor the food for the Buy Out," said Leila Kirsch, owner of Vennu Yoga Studio.
Tentenarios provided musical entertainment and some people say they traveled from all over the Bay Area to show their support to the street vendors.
"It’s hard work. They’re out here every day. They deserve to know that we support them and that we back them up, they’re welcomed, and they’re loved," said Mercedez Perucho, of Menlo Park.
Witnesses at SAP Center said they believe the person who attacked Reconco may have been intoxicated and investigators are asking anyone with information about that case to contact San Jose Police.