71-year-old ice cream man brutally beaten, robbed in North Hollywood

NORTH HOLLYWOOD, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A grandfather selling ice cream in a North Hollywood neighborhood was brutally beaten and robbed of the $80 in his pocket. His devastated family is hoping to find the person responsible for the cold-hearted crime.

On Thursday, David Juan Martinez was still bruised but recovering from the heartless beating.

Tuesday night, the 71-year-old was pushing his ice cream cart along Vanowen Street near Lemp Avenue, walking the same route he's taken every day for 30 years.

Martinez, who speaks only Spanish, said two men approached him, said something in English and punched him several times in the face.

"And that's when he fell to the floor and they took the $80 he had in his pocket," said daughter-in-law Laura Rodriguez.

Martinez, bleeding profusely, got up and walked about a mile to his home.

His family didn't find out about the beating and robbery until the next morning. He told them he didn't want to bother anybody.

"He looked so swollen and purple, it was just horrible," Rodriguez added.

They took the father of seven to the hospital and called the police.

"And he doesn't make that much - $20 to $30 a day. Money he had in his pocket was a week's worth," Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez started a GoFundMe account for her father-in-law and said she fears for his safety and wants him to retire.

"$80 isn't worth his life," she added. "$80 is nothing. They could have taken his life."
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