Denver street vendor injured in attack given new smile

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DENVER (KDVR) — A Denver street vendor who was attacked in June has been given the gift of a new smile.

Antonio Ramirez Chavez was in the parking lot of a local school on June 11 around 7:30 p.m. He was packing up after a day of selling ice cream out of his cart when he says he was suddenly hit from behind. He blacked out and when he woke up, he was bleeding.   

The attacker took off with the $70 he made that day. Chavez’s story got around and the community immediately responded. That support continued in the form of receiving new teeth.  

Paul Bell of Tu Dentista in Lone Tree learned about Chavez when a local nonprofit, Servicios De La Raza, reached out. Bell connected with Chavez.  

“Being attacked in that brutal of a manner to such a gentle person, it makes you want to reach out and do something to help him,” said Bell.  

Chavez said his teeth were already in bad shape before the attack. The attack made them worse. He said his new teeth are part of his newer outlook on life. Sadly, immediately following the attack, he was overwhelmed.  

“Why did this happen? Why are people so bad? But I started to meet people, I started to feel the support,” said Chavez. He went on to say he smiles more now and is happier.  

He says he is extremely grateful for all of the support he’s received. A GoFundMe account raised just over $71,000.

Chavez is an undocumented immigrant. After learning about his story, My Rights Immigration Law Firm offered to help him with this work visa application free of charge.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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