Video shows street vendor attacked from behind, knocked unconscious outside of SAP Center

WARNING: The video below may be disturbing to watch for some viewers.

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Saturday, February 18, 2023
Video shows SJ street vendor attacked, knocked unconscious
Video shared with ABC7 News shows a violent attack on a street vendor outside the SAP Center in San Jose.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Video shared with ABC7 News shows a violent attack on a street vendor outside the SAP Center in San Jose. The video has now gone viral, with many on social media searching for the suspect who got away.

The incident happened around 11:43 p.m. on Thursday, following a concert by Mexican singer-songwriter Ana Gabriel.

The video shows the vendor being brutally attacked from behind and knocked unconscious. As long-time street vendor and victim Saul Reconco lies face down, the video shows the suspect continuing his assault.

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"He saw me, that I was knocked down. He started kicking me on the face, on the head. I don't know, I don't see good, the video good," Reconco explained. "And that's something that you cannot do even to an animal."

Reconco suffered a broken nose, several loose teeth, a swollen face and redness in his eyes.

He says before the beating that was captured on camera, the suspect had purchased several hot dogs and made a demand Reconco couldn't meet.

"'Give me a free hot dog or free soda,'" Reconco recalled. "I told him, I can't do it. Because this is not my business."

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Reconco said the man then threw beer in his face and onto his grill before walking away. However, minutes later, the man returned.

Witness Kim Lara captured what happened next. Her video, which has now gone viral, provides the only glimpse of the assault.

"I'm Hispanic, so we grew up supporting these street vendors," Lara described. "And it's really sad that outside of a Mexican, a regional Mexican singer, a concert, a street vendor of our own kind is getting beat up by another of our kind."

SAP Center management told ABC7 News safety at events is the top priority.

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A statement read in part: "We continue to actively communicate with City officials to ensure that public spaces outside of the arena are safe for all guests. We will continue to prioritize this issue until an adequate solution is reached."

"To be honest, on 27 years I had been doing that, this first time this happened to me," Reconco said.

His wife and other family members were not far, they too were working as vendors.

"These people are going out to concerts and events to make some extra money. And now he has to not only assume the loss of what he was supposed to gain, but now has to deal with dental care, and his face and the medical bills," Lara said.

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She hopes the video sheds some light on the abuse suffered by street vendors, and somehow it leads to justice for Reconco and his family.

"We as a community need to protect them. They serve us, they are out there, hardworking, putting their extra money that they have on the side to try and make a little earning," Lara said. "And it's just truly heartbreaking."

San Jose Police say a suspect has not been identified.

Reconco has had to take some time off work, but he's shared a verified Venmo account for anyone wanting to donate. Click here to be redirected.

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