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Community members are rallying to raise money for a neighborhood gardener in Glendale who they say was robbed and attacked by thieves earlier this week.
According to a GoFundMe page for Enrique Gonzalez, he was working at a residence near El Miradero Avenue and Bel Aire Drive around 9:15 a.m. Feb. 23, when he noticed a dark blue 1996-2007 Dodge Grand Caravan pull up alongside his truck and saw three men stealing his gardening equipment.
Gonzalez says he then ran up to the van and when he saw that the driver’s seat was empty, he leaned into the window and tried to turn off engine and grab the keys. That’s when one of the suspects realized what Gonzalez was doing and attacked him.
The gardener told KTLA that the driver of the van punched him in the face at least twice and grabbed his arm before putting the vehicle in reverse, dragging him along as the suspects fled the scene.
Home surveillance video near El Miradero Avenue and Bel Aire Drive captured the incident. The suspects in a van are seen backing up the vehicle. While Gonzalez can’t be seen from the camera’s angle, a man can be heard in the background calling for help in the background as the vehicle disappeared from the frame.
Neighbors heard the commotion and tried to help Gonzalez. Rachel Siegel, a resident of the area, told KTLA that she saw the suspect van backing up down the street with Gonzalez hanging out from the driver’s side door.
Gonzalez was eventually thrown to the ground before the van sped away. He described the three suspects as Hispanic men in their 20s.
Neighbors say they called Glendale Police to report the incident. Meanwhile, they’re working to raise money to help Gonzalez replace his stolen equipment, which they say was worth more than $3,000.
Carlos Saucedo reports for the KTLA 5 News on Feb. 27, 2021.