Local ice cream vendor still traumatized from robbery

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Last week, we introduced you to Pablo ‘the Ice Cream Man.’ After he was robbed, friends set up a GoFundMe page and the community stepped up–raising thousands of dollars for him.

Usually, Pablo Arroyo Perez would be out in the streets selling ice cream to kids of all ages, but instead on Sunday afternoon, he is at home trying to save money.

“When it’s cloudy and kind of cold out, I don’t go out,” Perez explained.

Two weeks ago he was robbed–changing the way he does business.

“I was left traumatized from the experience, and when I think about someone stealing the little money you have on you, well it’s not worth it,” Perez said.

For Perez, it means changing up his work routine. He now carries less cash on himself and has earlier work days so he’s not out working late at night.

“I go on the main streets and avoid alleys because its more dangerous,” he explained.

He says he now works in fear and is even considering walking away from selling ice cream entirely.

“When I sell ice cream I look around, you never know who is pretending to buy ice cream when they want to rob you. And that fear I have causes me to not trust anyone,” Perez added.

The GoFundMe page, set up by Buddah Barrios and James Andrews, has received more than $4,500 in donations.

“I’m glad we were able to give him a hand it was messed up what happened to him but also woke us up to help out the community more,” Barrios said.

For now, Perez is taking everything day-by-day. His dream is to eventually own his own ice cream business

“I’m going to continue selling ice cream and if a good opportunity comes up that’s less dangerous well I can imagine anyone would take that opportunity,” Perez concluded.

Perez hopes to eventually save enough money to buy his own ice cream cart.

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