A 20-year-old woman seen in a video knocking over a fruit vendor’s stand in a dispute allegedly over a parking spot in Westlake says she and her friend were the victims and not the aggressors.
“I almost lost my life on Monday, my vehicle was gone, I’m out of money,” Ariana Belvine said.
The altercation took place Monday afternoon on Rampart Boulevard and 6th Street, where Sandra Quinonez has been a street vendor for more than 30 years.
“She asked me if I could move my car so she could move her cars, keep in mind she has five vehicles, so she could move her cars back to back, lining them up together. I told her no, because my car recently got towed and this is the only part that I found OK for me to park at,” Belvine said.
According to Belvine, the street vendor’s daughter pulled up behind her vehicle, blocked her in, bumped into her car and then allegedly ran into her.
“I’m like you just hit me, you just hit me. You already hit my vehicle several times, now you just hit me physically with your moving vehicle,” Belvine said.
On Tuesday, the street vendor’s other daughter denied those claims.
Before a table of bananas were tossed to the ground, Quinonez says the women yelled racial slurs and even pulled out a gun. That’s when she called police.
“They say that my mom hit them with her car, and they say my sister hit her physically with the car. So if they hit you, why didn’t you call the police?” Amalia Diaz, the street vendor’s daughter, said.
Belvine said she never brandished a weapon, despite what the street vendor claimed.
“At this point, that’s when I tossed over her bananas because she hit my vehicle, she hit me, and they’re not trying to deescalate the situation,” Belvine said.
Other bystanders began getting involved in the altercation, chasing after Belvine and her friend, allegedly with knives, throwing glass bottles at them and vandalizing her vehicle.
Belvine said the four tires on her vehicle were also slashed. She has since started her own GoFundMe page for car repairs.
On Wednesday, Quinonez was back on the job and standing by her story while receiving community support.
“We live in the life where if someone records 30 seconds of your life and you’re doing something wrong, it doesn’t matter who started it or not, it could jeopardize your reputation. At the end of the day we should respect street vendors at all times,” Edin Enamorado, an activist, said.
Looking back on the situation, Belvine said “Yeah, I probably should have never tossed the fruit stand but then again, she hit me one time physically with her vehicle, and on top she hit my car 5 times.”
LAPD is investigating the incident as an assault with a deadly weapon and have listed Belvine as the victim and not the street vendor.