Support pours in for street vendor beaten, robbed in northeast Denver

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DENVER (KDVR) — Support poured in after people learned about Antonio Ramirez Chavez’s story. The undocumented immigrant was attacked and robbed last Thursday in Green Valley Ranch. It left him with a face full of injuries.

Chavez was in the parking lot of a school at 21601 E. 51st Ave. on June 11 around 7:30 p.m.  He was packing up after a day of selling ice cream out of his cart when he says he was suddenly hit from behind. He blacked out and when he woke up, he was bleeding.  

He realized the three attackers took off with the $70 he had made that day.

But Chavez did not go straight to police. As an undocumented immigrant, he was worried about reporting the crime. But one day later, he went to the Denver Police Department where they reassured him they want to help.

“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 DPD Officer Mona Barraza.

Barraza was so moved by Chavez’s story, she felt compelled to help. She gave him $70 of her own money.

As others heard about the attack, they also stepped up to help. Chavez says Mayor Michael Hancock’s office called to help connect him to resources. The non-profit group Servicios De Laz Raza donated $1,000 to Chavez to help him pay for his rent.

GoFundMe page started by one of Chavez’s friends had raised $40,000 by Thursday night.

Chavez says he never expected this level of support and help.

“They’ve helped me so much. They’ve given me strength to move forward,” said Chavez before adding, “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.”

He says the attack will not stop him from providing for his family. Once he heals, he plans to go back to selling ice cream.  

The Denver Police Department encourages anyone who has information about this robbery, or who lives in the area and may have video evidence that could help investigators, to contact Metro Denver Crime Stoppers at 720-913-7867.

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