“Everyone that had a ticket I had given a hot dog to,” the 63-year-old owner of Clint’s Hot Dog Cart and Casual Catering told FoxNews.com. “So when two guys, one with a mask, came to get their hot dogs, I didn’t think anything of it because they had tickets and I was just there for a job.”
He described the action that ensued as “violent.” Only minutes after he’d handed the two men their hot dogs, the pair tore down the tent, turned over his serving tables, smashed his hot dogs, tossed a cooler filled with sodas and spilled his chili.
“I kept explaining that I was just here to do a job, that I wasn’t on anybody’s side, but when people started calling me racial slurs, my friend who works at the Capitol told me I had to get out of there, so I crawled out,” said Tarver, who is black.
His response? He prayed, with his wife. But that's not the end of the story, either:
Until Tuesday, he thought he was relatively unknown. But word spread about the incident, and local residents on both sides of the issue began rallying to help Tarver out.
Lorilea Zabadal, a staff member for Republican state Rep. Al Pscholka, set up an online fundraiser at gofundme.com/SupportClint. The goal was to reach $5,000. As of Wednesday afternoon, over $14,000 in donations had been raised.
“I supported Clint. He’s a great guy and a great small business,” Lt. Governor Brian Calley said on Twitter. He also thanked citizens who had supported Tarver financially.
Tarver said that state Sen. Joe Humes and his wife reached out to Tarver on Tuesday night promising to reimburse him for his equipment.
And a spokesperson for Americans for Prosperity said they plan to reimburse Tarver as well.