Community rallies to support elderly flower vendor after she was reported to police

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

An 83-year-old woman selling flowers on the side of the road over Mother’s Day weekend was forced to stop after another vendor reported her to the police.

The dispute that was caught on camera and posted to TikTok now has a lot of people talking.

An ailing 83-year-old woman, Fidelia Hernandez, was out selling flowers on a corner in Van Nuys on Friday when another flower vendor with a much larger table, doing the same thing on the sidewalk, called the police on the elderly woman.

That’s when a good Samaritan, Nelson Gonzalez, owner of Pupusa Express stepped in. He didn’t like what he was seeing, and started recording a video, determined to make it go viral. 

Gonzalez was even detained by police for interfering but was eventually let go. The video has since gone viral with 18 million views.

Lesly Chavez was one of those viewers. She immediately drove to the corner of Sepulveda and Sherman Way and not only did she buy flowers from the elderly woman, but others did too.

“So I ended up flagging people to come in here until 8:30 p.m. to finish the flowers and then we promised to come the next day to help her by this time. everybody’s like we couldn’t keep up,” Chavez said. “It just melts my heart.”

Hernandez was driven to tears by the generosity of strangers she says it was all a happy surprise. She said she is very thankful to the food truck owner, Gonzalez, who protected her as well.

Turns out Hernandez sells flowers three days a week here at this corner making 7 dollars for each bouquet she sells. and that pays for her rent. right she pays 620 dollar a month to sleep on someone’s couch.)) 

Thanks to that viral video, Gonzalez took, people not only bought her flowers, they also gave her donations and serenaded her on Mother’s Day. 

As for the other vendors, they are no longer at that location and only set up on special occasions. Neither one of the vendors had licenses, they were out selling like many other vendors trying to make a living.

Hernandez still plans to sell her flowers every weekend on that corner.

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.