‘When you see someone getting hated on, you try and stop them’: Community rallies around fruit vendors after heated confrontation in Canyon Country

Local News

A passerby intervened in a confrontation between a couple and two fruit vendors in Canyon Country Sunday.

Video captured a man — who only identified himself to KTLA as Mike of Bergies Bar and Grill — and a woman repeatedly telling vendors Leovardo Ramirez and Sergio Medina to leave the area where they had set up a fruit cart Sunday afternoon.

 “We aren’t the f—ing ghetto. It needs to go,” Mike can be heard saying. “Where’s your health permit? Prove you pay taxes.”

Uvaldo Alcantar was passing by when he says he saw the couple harassing the fruit vendors. He stopped to try to translate for both parties.

“Look at the way you’re coming at people, bro,” Alcantar is heard saying.

“Don’t call me bro, I’m not your bro,” Mike responds.

“I wish you were. I wish we were all friends. But that’s hard for some people to understand,” Alcantar says.

When Alcantar was not able to deescalate the situation, he and his brother started recording and waited for sheriff’s deputies to arrive.

“When you see someone getting hated on, you try and stop them,” Alcantar said. “There’s definitely validity to some of the points they were making. But the whole point we were trying to get across… is that it didn’t have to go that way. The hate they were spewing towards us, towards the vendors, it was not necessary.”

Ramirez and Medina say they felt scared and nervous when the couple approached them because they didn’t have a permit to be out there selling fruit.

The men say they were going to take the day off Monday because of the incident. But after video of the confrontation circulated on social media, community members lined up to support them. So they set up shop a block away on Soledad Canyon and Sand Canyon roads.

“I was ashamed to see it… We want to come out and support them as much as we can. They’re working hard for their money,” a man in line to buy fruit told KTLA Monday.

The two vendors received a warning from deputies and are planning to get permits to operate legally, Alcantar says.

Yelp users flocked to Bergies Bar and Grill page to leave reviews about the restaurant after the video of the confrontation spread online. The grill’s Instagram account appears to have been deactivated.

Mike told KTLA that his wife is in hiding because of the incident.

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