Oakland community buys out ice cream vendor robbed at gunpoint in viral video

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) — On Sunday, the community of Oakland came to support an ice cream vendor after he was brutally attacked on the job.

It was only two weeks ago when 50-year-old Felipe Ramos Bautista was crossing the street, then three masked people ran up with guns drawn, seen in surveillance video that circulated social media.

One suspect knocks the ice cream vendor to the ground and then the group runs off with some of his belongings.

Oakland police said it happened in the 1500 block of 17th Avenue in Oakland on May 24, just before 12:45 p.m.

“I felt right there and then that I was going to be dead,” Bautista said.

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Bautista is a father, originally from Guatemala, who says he just moved here from San Diego.

He had only been working as an ice cream vendor for 45 days before this attack.

“When I saw the video, it was just awful,” Christian Fregoso, a community organizer said.

Enter, Fregoso.

After seeing the video, he teamed up with a friend to track the ice cream vendor down.

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“Sometimes when people get robbed, they don’t have no one,” Fregoso said. “No one to get help from, so we wanted to step up and help him.”

And boy did they, by inviting the entire community to come buy Bautista out on Sunday, one ice cream at a time.

Even Oakland firefighters stopped by and waited in line in between calls.

“Because he has to provide for his family, he needs to put food on the table, he needs to have a roof, so I’m just happy that we were able to help him out today,” Fregoso said.

In a matter of hours, Bautista sold out close to 300 frozen treats.

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A handful of vendors also showed up to sell tacos, Aguas Frescas and more, only to give 100% of their proceeds over to Bautista.

“I’m happy that they came here to lend me a hand,” Bautista said.

And if this story sounds familiar, that’s because you’ve heard it before.

Back in October, Fregoso organized a similar buy-out when a San Francisco Public Works employee was caught on camera pushing over a street vendor’s cart in a now viral video near Fisherman’s Wharf.

Fregoso’s intent, no different on Sunday.

“I’m just happy he sold out,” Fregoso said. “When he opened his car, it was just amazing, and he was really happy. He was about to cry. He was, like, in tears because he just couldn’t believe it, how people just came together.”

Oakland police are still looking for the three people who robbed Bautista.

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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.