DENVER -- A taco truck was vandalized shortly after its owner made a political statement in front of Donald Trump's Denver field office.
There's no proof the vandalism of Mestizos food truck is connected to Trump supporters, but the owner said the timing is suspicious and the message he got from it was clear.
“When we get death threats and pretty nasty message and they break into our truck,” said Jose Gonzalez, owner of Mestizos food truck.
His taco truck was broken into and trashed. The vandals didn't just take the nearly $400 in cash; they spoiled all the food and did some major damage.
“I think they went to a lot of effort to try to pry it open,” he said of the door to the truck and the safe inside that showed obvious signs of damage.
“They just completely came in and spoiled all that,” he said of the food that was dumped from the coolers onto the floor.
“Our salsas that we had in there were smeared everywhere. … To make an effort to go into our coolers and empty them out and just trash everything, I kind of took it more as a message,” he said.
Gonzalez said the timing is interesting. He has been around for five years with no problems, until Friday, when he heard comments made by the founder of the group Latinos for Trump, Marco Gutierrez.
“My culture is a very dominant culture, and it's imposing and it's causing problems. If you don't do something about it, you're going to have taco trucks on every corner,” Gutierrez said to the host of an MSNBC show.
“He says it in such a derogatory way that it belittles everything we do and everything we stand for because at the end of the day, taco truck or not it is a business,” Gonzalez said.
That's when Gonzalez decided to park his small business in front of Donald Trump's Denver campaign office.
“It doesn't matter your skin color, it doesn't matter your ethnicity, the American ideology, the American dream is equal to everybody,” Gonzalez said.
Two days later is when the damage to his truck was done.
“As long as we have work and as long as we have the support we're getting from our community, we won't stay silent and we won't give up,” he said.
Gonzalez has filed a police report. He also set up a GoFundMe page to help pay for the repairs.
It's already raised more than $3,000.