Valentine's Day attack on Fresno street vendor prompts 6-year prison sentence

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Less than three months after a Valentine's Day attack on a Fresno street vendor was caught on camera, the suspect is headed to prison.

The Martin Chavez who sat in court Wednesday wearing a sling doesn't appear as physically imposing as the Martin Chavez who attacked a street vendor in southeast Fresno just three months earlier.

16-year-old Kamelia Beltran saw Chavez trying to steal from her 77-year-old grandfather's Valentine's Day goodies.

Chavez attacked the grandfather, his two adult daughters, and Kamelia before she grabbed her phone to record video.

"I started recording but before I recorded, he threw his hand at me and socked me," Beltran said. "I was like really scared."

RELATED: Young street vendor recounts being attacked on Valentine's Day

Thousands of people watched the video after she shared it on social media.

Family members say they got death threats because of the post.

But they also got tips, and Fresno police identified Chavez as the attacker.

He has now pleaded no contest to one count of robbery.

It's not his first conviction, but his public defender said all of them stem from the same issue.

"Mr. Chavez's legal problems are a result of long-term substance abuse," said public defender Ryan Yoo.

Ryan Yoo said Chavez is remorseful about his attack.

None of the victims wanted to come to court to see Chavez sentenced and they didn't submit any comments to the judge.

Street vendors around the city told us this attack and others have them watching their backs.

Judge James Kelley called it a terrible crime.

"I'm hoping that in the future, after this prison term, that we don't see this type of thing from him again," the judge said.

Chavez will now serve a six-year prison term.

The judge ordered substance abuse treatment while he's in custody.
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