Berkeley hot dog vendor presented with $87,000 check
BERKELEY, Calif. (KTVU) - The Berkeley hot dog vendor who was cited by UC Berkeley police was presented with an $87,921 check Saturday.
Juan "Beto" Macias was cited two weeks ago for selling food without a permit outside a Cal football game. Police confiscated $60 from his wallet, prompting a viral response.
The $87,000 comes from a GoFundMe fundraiser. Over 5,000 people contributed to the fundraiser.
Macias says he plans on putting the money toward a food truck, legal fees, and other living expenses.
The officer said he took the money as evidence, and UC Berkeley police said that the university was cracking down on unpermitted food being sold on campus.
In a statement released Monday, UC Berkeley Vice Chancellor Scott Biddy said vendors typically are given warnings before a citation. Three other vendors outside the game Saturday were given warnings but not cited, police said.
"We have instructed our officers to monitor illegal vending outside our event venues. This action has been motivated at least in part by issues of public health, the interests of local small businesses, and even human trafficking," Biddy said. "In a case such as this, it is typical to collect any suspected illegal funds and enter them into evidence."
Biddy added, however, that an investigation has been opened into the incident.
The fundraising site was started by Martin Flores, a Cal alumnus who captured also captured Matias getting cited by the police officer in a Facebook video that went viral.