food truck

After Fire Destroys Food Truck, Owner Believes He Was Hate-Crime Target

Fire destroyed the Rollin Roots food truck early Sunday morning

NBC Universal, Inc.

Avonte Hartsfield said he’s tired. He’s tired of being angry.

“Difficult thing to process,” Hartsfield said with a sigh.

The businessman stood outside the burned shell of his Rollin Roots food truck in Kearny Mesa.

“This is literally the last penny that I had," Hartsfield told NBC 7 on Tuesday. "It was put into here,”

The food truck, which specialized in vegan food, burned early Sunday morning. Hartsfield believes someone did it on purpose.

“On the first day, I was p---ed,” he said standing outside the driver’s side window. “I came up and I was immediately p---ed, but right now I’m just tired. I’m tired of being p---ed.”

Hartsfield said a San Diego Fire Rescue investigator couldn’t determine how the fire started. However, Hartsfield said the fire was the latest incident attack on his business in the past week. He said someone broke into his office and stole his safe. He also said someone cut the power lines running from the office to the truck. Lastly, Hartsfield told NBC 7 that someone left what he called a noose hanging outside the door of his office.

“This is like something that’s a completely different level,” Hartsfield said, shaking his head.

San Diego police confirmed they are investigating the break-in, but they did not say they were investigating it as a hate crime. Either way, Hartsfield was shaken.

“I think I’m a pretty tough person, but this was something that definitely got me and how could it not?" Hartsfield asked. "It’s my life savings.”

The business owner initially planned on giving up the endeavor but reconsidered after an outpouring of support online from friends, family and fans.

“We’re coming back for sure,” Hartsfield said, smiling. “We’re coming back. I can’t not come back with all the community support that I’ve had.”

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