Flower Street Vendor Allegedly Attacked Caught on Camera
BAKERSFIELD, California — A family driving down Rosedale Highway on Sunday stopped to help a flower vendor who was being attacked by a man who was panhandling in the area. The family recorded the incident and shared those videos on social media, which have now gone viral.
On March 28, Felícito Chávez was selling flowers on the side of Rosedale Highway in the area between Buck Owens Boulevard and Oak Street to make ends meet. Chávez had several buckets filled with flowers to sell. The man approached him and threw a bucket onto the road.
Gabriel Baez said he and his family were driving eastbound when they saw the incident. They turned their car around and stopped to assist Chávez. Baez said he immediately called 911. The videos show the family approached the man and told him to leave Chávez alone.
“That’s enough. You’re not going to be doing this just because you want money. He’s working!” Baez’s wife Miriam Acuario said a video posted to TikTok. “Get your flowers, nobody is going to do nothing.”
Baez said others saw what was going on and got off their cars to try to help. The man ran off but kept returning, according to Baez. The people who got off to help tried to run the man off for good. After everyone left, the Baez family stayed behind because they wanted to see the man get arrested.
In one of the videos posted by Baez’s daughter, Chávez shows the family a bruise on his chest that was left in the attack. He also tells the family that his backpack with identification have been stolen in the past while trying to sell flowers.
Baez said the Bakersfield Police Department arrived on scene around 45 minutes later. By that time, the homeless man had ran off eastbound towards the riverbank. Bakersfield Police told 17 News the scene had been cleared out when they arrived.
Due to the area where the unit was responding from and traffic, it took that unit 11 minutes to arrive in the area. That unit circulated the area for 42 minutes, trying to locate any involved persons. We strongly urge the victim to contact us.
The Baez family remains in contact with Felícito Chávez and have set up a GoFundMe account to help him.
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