Generous donors raise tens of thousands for a hot dog vendor after police took his earnings

Video/Sacramento Bee

Donations are pouring in for hot dog vendor Juan “Beto” Matias after a video of a UC Berkeley police officer busting him for not having a permit and confiscating his earnings went viral.

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Martin Flores, the customer who recorded the footage, also created a GoFundMe page to help Matias and other vendors like him cover both legal and personal losses. So far, nearly $80K has been raised, which will hopefully help purchase a food truck for Matias as well.

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“It’s always been his goal to have a food truck. With all this beautiful support, we hope to get him a fully licensed food truck,” Martin Flores told New York Daily News. “We’d also like to have funds set aside to do some advocacy and provide training and licensing and certification.”

The video shows the officer issuing Matias a citation for his lack of permit, but the long arm of the law didn’t stop there. The officer also combed through Matias’s wallet, seizing $60 from him. In the footage, Flores can be heard saying, “You’re going to take his hard-earned money? That’s not right.”

“People saw I wasn’t doing anything wrong,” Matias said of the incident. “I wasn’t stealing or drinking. I was just working to sustain my family.”

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