A University of California Berkeley Police (UCPD) Officer was videotaped confiscating money from a hot dog vendor.
In the video, Officer Sean Aranas wrote a ticket to the vendor for selling on the street without a permit. He took the vendor’s wallet and confiscated $60, which was suspected to be the proceeds from illegal sales.
UCPD Sgt. Sabrina Reich told Berkeleyside on Monday that the money was booked into evidence.
The situation took place around 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 9, after a football game at the California Memorial Stadium.
The man who took the video, Martin Flores, is a UC Berkeley alumnus who went to buy a hot dog from the vendor after attending the football game. He is heard on the video saying that what the officer did was “not right” and that “a hard-working man gets his money taken away and a ticket.”
The vendor has been identified as Juan, 34.
“We’ll take it to the judge and the judge can decide whether or not it’s right,”Officer Aranas replied. “He doesn’t have a permit.”
Another witness, John Pavliga, said that the interaction between Juan and police started several minutes earlier than what was included in the video, reported Berkeleyside.
“A female UCPD officer who appeared to be Latina spoke to the vendor for a few minutes in Spanish while the male officer shown in the posted video stood nearby,” Pavliga said.
“For whatever reason, Mr. Flores (who had been recording the female officer’s conversation with the vendor) chose not to include that footage, but instead show only this snippet with Officer Aranas.”
The university instructed its police officers to go after illegal vendors outside event venues, the university’s Vice Chancellor Scott Biddy said, according to KRON 4.
He said the university was concerned the food could be harmful to health.
“While I cannot comment on the specifics of this particular case, our practice is to issue warnings before giving a citation,” Biddy said. The university police detained three other vendors that day. Each was released with a warning.
Flores set up a go GoFundMe page on Sunday “to cover legal and personal loses” for Juan. The page collected over $60,000 by Tuesday evening. On Tuesday, Flores updated the page saying the money “will go to Juan (Beto) and the efforts to support street vendors in advocacy.”