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California

70-year-old ice cream vendor’s family says he was violently robbed in North Hollywood

A 70-year-old ice cream vendor was brutally beaten this week and robbed of $80 in North Hollywood while walking home from work, his family said. 

David Juan Martinez, suffered a fractured nose and his face was left bruised and swollen, according to an account his family wrote on a GoFundMe fundraising page that had pulled in more than $37,000 as of Friday morning. 

The LAPD’s North Hollywood station confirmed that it had received a report about the alleged assault and robbery Tuesday night near Vanowen Street and Lemp Avenue.

Martinez has pushed his ice cream cart along the same route every day for three decades, his family told KABC-TV News. Martinez, who speaks Spanish, told the station that two men approached him and said something in English before punching him several times in the face.

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Martinez did not understand what the men said and thought they wanted ice cream, Laura Rodriguez, his daughter-in-law, told KTLA-TV.

He walked about a mile home despite bleeding heavily, KABC reported. Martinez waited until the next morning to tell his family what had happened.. 

“He doesn’t make that much — $20 to $30 a day,” Rodriguez told KABC. The “money he had in his pocket was a week’s worth.”

Martinez’s family wants him to retire, but he has told them that he plans to go back to work this week, according to the GoFundMe page. 

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hailey.branson@latimes.com

Twitter: @haileybranson

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