VIDEO: Street vendor attacked and carjacked by homeless man in Hancock Park

The Los Angeles Police Department is searching for a man who was caught on video punching a street vendor before stealing his van in the Hancock Park neighborhood of Los Angeles.

The incident happened at the 700 block of South Rimpau Boulevard just south of Wilshire Boulevard Saturday afternoon.

Witnesses say the neighborhood fruit vendor, 58-year-old Esteban Venancio, was just doing his job when a homeless man punched him, then stole his keys.

"I never thought in 1 million years there would be a carjacking on the corner I live three blocks away," said Amanda Reno, who witnessed the whole thing.


Video shows Venancio running after the man and briefly hanging out of the front window of the car while the suspect steals his van. Witnesses say the suspect is a man known to live in the Hancock Park and La Brea area. The street vendor was treated at the scene by paramedics and is recovering at home according to his family.

The van was recovered Sunday in West Covina.

LAPD has not released any suspect information at this time. 

"He’s got a great heart great spirit he shows up every morning happy to doing what he loves," Reno said. "And it breaks my heart that he was hurt in doing something that he loves."

This attack comes just one day after Los Angeles City Councilman Bob Blumenfield filed a motion to expand protections to street vendors. Earlier this week, a vendor had their stand torn apart by an axe-weilding man. In the motion, Blumenfield said that attacks like these are on the rise, and while they may not be solely affecting street vendors, the attacks "are accompanied by obvious anti-Latino and anti-immigrant language."