2 El Monte street vendors arrested after compliance check turns violent: Officials

Two street vendors in El Monte were arrested Saturday after a county compliance check turned violent, officials reported.

The Los Angeles County Health Department said several complaints about unpermitted “pop-up” food vending at Valley Boulevard and Mountain View Road were reported. At about 8:30 p.m. Saturday, health inspectors and the El Monte Police Department’s code enforcement went to the location for a compliance check.

“During the complaint investigation, the unpermitted food operators at this location became aggressive and physical with the inspectors and law enforcement, which resulted in multiple arrests,” county officials told KTLA in a statement. “One inspector was kicked by one of the food operators while being arrested and was treated on scene. No other inspectors were hurt.” 

Police said officers got involved when the altercation between the vendor and a county health officer escalated.

“El Monte Police Officers intervened and were assaulted by a vendor which resulted in a police use of force,” El Monte Police Chief David Reynoso said in a statement Sunday. “Intervention by El Monte Police was necessary to keep the peace and protect county employees.”

It’s unclear exactly what prompted the altercation between the vendors, inspectors and law enforcement, but some videos of what transpired appeared on social media.

“The police department has started an inquiry into the actions of all involved parties and will be reviewing Body Cam video along with videos that have been posted on social media,” Reynoso said. ” We encourage witnesses into last night’s events to contact the police department.”

Police said there were no serious injures reported.

Unpermitted food vending is a violation of the California Health and Safety Code.

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