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Food Vendor Attacked by Rivals in SoHo Turf War, Officials Say

By Rebecca Fishbein | September 6, 2017 11:05am

SOHO — A trio of food vendors violently attacked a rival while he tended to his cart in SoHo in an apparent turf war over who would set up shop at the location, according to police and a lawyer for one of the suspects.

The victim, a 34-year-old Queens resident, was preparing to start his shift at his cart parked in front of 503 Broadway near Broome Street at 8 a.m. on Sept. 2 when three other food vendors approached him and began to assault him, police said. 

A witness told police one of the perpetrators used some type of metal instrument to attack the victim, which he then threw in the back of a truck that the trio used to flee the scene.

The three suspects — Carlos Lopez-Pizarro, 31, Marco Vial, 50, and Eduardo Latin-Cisterna, 46 — were arrested later that day and charged with felony assault, according to a criminal complaint from the Manhattan District Attorney’s office. 

The victim was treated on the scene for pain to his groin area, as well as for an injury to his chest and neck, authorities said. He was later taken an area hospital for further observation, police said

Vial's attorney told DNAinfo New York that his client — a nut vendor for nearly two decades — denies the charges, adding the victim was trying to take over Vial's longtime vending location. 

"I have reviewed video and photographs that I believe show that the complainant in the case was involved in long effort to claim the spot from which Mr. Vial and his company have vended for a very long time," attorney Gregory Gomez said. "Mr. Vial, a hard-working father, with no history of violence whatsoever, adamantly denies these allegations."

Gomez also claimed the victim was not attacked with a metal object and that he returned to work "mere hours after the alleged attack."

Latin-Cisterna's attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment, while attorney information for Lopez-Pizarro was not available.

Bail for each defendant was set at $10,000 cash or $20,000 bond, according to the DA’s office. 

Other recent incidents in the 1st Precinct, according to police, include:

► A 27-year-old New Jersey woman told police a man in a black jacket and black jeans robbed her at gunpoint after she withdrew money from an ATM inside of 2 Gold St. at 12:35 a.m. on Aug. 31. The victim stopped at a Santander ATM to take money out for a cab, when she saw a man attempting to open the door to the ATM vestibule. Once inside, he watched her withdraw money, then told her, “Give me $1,000 right now,” the victim told police. When the woman said she didn’t have that kind of money, he flashed a firearm and told her, “Give me what you got,” police said. The woman handed the thief $160, and he fled westbound on Maiden Lane toward Broadway, police said. There were no arrests as of Tuesday, according to police. 

► A 36-year-old Manhattan man told police he was robbed by an unknown man in a black hoodie on the southeast corner of Water and Dover streets on Aug. 31. The victim told officers he was walking to his car at 7:45 p.m. when the suspect came up from behind him, put his hand over his mouth, held a sharp instrument to his neck and told him, “Give me your wallet, money and phone.” The victim told the suspect he didn’t have any money, police said, so the thief swiped a bag of medication the victim was carrying and fled eastbound on Dover Street, making off with Percocets, blood pressure medication and Gabapentin, police said. The victim suffered a small laceration to the side of his neck but refused medical attention, police said. There were no arrests as of Tuesday, according to police, who did not have information on the total value of the medication stolen. The suspect was described as standing 5-foot-11.

► A 38-year-old Brooklyn woman told officers her bag was swiped from a bench in front of 549 Broadway at 4 p.m. on Sept. 1, police said. The woman said she was sitting on the bench with her purse next to her and got up to take a phone call. When she returned to her seat, her purse — which contained her ID, Burberry sunglasses, credit cards and keys — was no longer there. Later, the victim was alerted her credit card had $724.02 in unauthorized charges at Bloomingdale's, $321.08 in unauthorized charges at H&M, and $229.91 in charges at an undisclosed location. There were no arrests as of Tuesday, police said. 

► A 26-year-old man had his bicycle stolen from a locked bike-storage room at his residence at 325 North End Ave. between 3:20 p.m. Aug. 26 and 6 a.m. Sept. 1, police said. The victim put his Cannonade bicycle and accessories, worth $2,549, in the storage room and discovered later that the bicycle was missing from the location. There were no arrests as of Tuesday, police said.