Local And Latino Community Raise Over $70K For Paletero Who Was Beaten And Robbed
Thieves beat Antonio Ramirez and stole his entire day's earnings, $70.
So Antonio's local community and Latinos across the nation stepped up, raising over $70,000 for the 64-year-old paletero.
Every day, in whatever weather, pandemic or no, Antonio Ramirez hits the streets of Denver with his paleta cart to provide for his family. The 64-year-old abuelo is a neighborhood fixture, handing out paletas and snacks - even when kids don't have the money.
So, when Antonio's community learned that he had been viciously assaulted and robbed, they rallied to his aid.
The attack, during which three to four suspects beat the paletero unconscious, left Antonio with open wounds, broken bones, and requiring surgery.
Friends set up a GoFundMe to help cover Antonio's medical costs. In 24 hours, it had reached $40,000.
Before organizers shut it down, the campaign had raised over $70,000.
Thousands of people donated, including 6,000 of LATINLIVE's followers from around the country, as well as Antonio's coworkers, the mayor's office, and even the officer who took Antonio's report, Mona Barraza. The thieves took all of Antonio's earnings, $65, so Barraza gave him $70 out of her own pocket.
Neighbor Wendy Bruner told local news channel Denver7, "I just felt that there was just such a horrible thing to happen to someone. It's just so nice to be able to help somebody that was down and out." She and her husband gave Antonio an envelope full of cash, $400 out of the couple's stimulus money.
Antonio broke down in tears when a reporter for Denver7 told him that viewers had donated the money to cover his rent for July.
"Gracias, muchas gracias," he said, voice breaking, scars healing. "Lo voy a llevar siempre en mi corazón."