A 64-year-old paletero was brutally attacked in Montbello, Colorado — a neighborhood in Denver. He was robbed and beaten up just for the $65 he had earned that day. Denver police say Antonio Ramirez-Chavez was robbed and attacked by three men near Florida Pitt Waller School at around 7:20 p.m. on Thursday, June 11. He was finished for the day and loading up his ice cream cart when the attack happened.
Ramirez-Chavez thankfully survived this horrendous crime as the assailants left him for dead, but he was afraid to report it to police. He feared because of his undocumented status that reporting the crime would perhaps lead to his deportation.
Antonio confirmed the Gofundme below. https://t.co/rZWd0qBtJF
— Adi Guajardo (@AdiGTV) June 18, 2020
“We have nothing to do with immigration. Basically, if you are a victim, we are going to take your report. We are going to do whatever we can to find justice for you,” said Denver Police Department Officer Mona Barraza, according to KDVR news.
Ramirez-Chavez said that he works as a paletero to support his sick wife and young daughter. He said that he remembers being hit in the back of the head when he finished his shift and then blacked out. The next thing he remembers is waking up bleeding.
A GoFundme account has been set up in his name, and he has so far raised almost $50,000. Ramirez-Chavez said he is beyond grateful for everyone’s support.
“They’ve helped me so much,” Ramirez-Chavez told a local news channel. “They’ve given me strength to move forward,” and added, “The money is the least of it. What matters is that people actually worry and care about the community around them, for me and my problem.”
The Denver community pulled together to help a paleta man who was beaten unconscious earlier this month. Antonio Ramirez-Chavez’s bruises will heal, but the acts of kindness he’s received he will carry in his heart forever, he said. https://t.co/b4MJHACkps pic.twitter.com/fBovArPxrz
— Denver7 News (@DenverChannel) June 19, 2020
Ramirez-Chavez said that after he has recovered from his injuries, he will go back to selling ice cream. The Metro Denver Crime Stoppers is asking the public that if they have any information about the attack against Ramirez-Chavez to call them at 720-913-7867.
We are amazed to see so many on social media sharing this tragic story and lending financial support to Ramirez-Chavez and his family. We’ve seen time and time again how vulnerable Latino vendors are when they’re out in the street trying to work. While we don’t know if this attack was a hate crime, it’s definitely not the first time a Latino food street vendor is harassed or attacked merely because of their background. We hope the Denver Police catch these brutal assailants fast.