California Elote Vendor Loses Hand After Picking Up Aluminum Bomb Disguised As Trash
Orange County elote vendor Francisco Azcona, 22, has lost his hand and is gravely injured after picking up a homemade aluminum bomb he thought was trash outside his home. His left hand has now been amputated and his right hand is injured.
Azcona is a third-generation elotero, and had just moved to Santa Ana, California, two months prior in search of a better life. He left behind his almost two-year-old daughter in Mexico, and as his brother-in-law Luis López told People en Español, “he looks for her a lot” from his hospital bed.
López explained that the explosion happened at 10:15 a.m. on June 17, when they are usually “cleaning the elote.” Occurring just outside Azcona’s home, he picked up an aluminum-wrapped ball thinking it was trash.
“It was like a little ball wrapped in aluminum. He wanted to throw it in the trash and that’s when it exploded,” López said. Santa Ana police now say it was actually an “expansive bomb,” destroying the vendor’s left hand and wrist.
While police are investigating the tragedy as an attack, there were no cameras at the scene that could help to identify the perpetrator. As can be expected, Azcona currently feels “bad, sad, he feels fear.” The family is also extremely fearful after the attack.
Per the outlet, Azcona is from San Antonio la Portilla Tecamachalco, Puebla, and worked in greenhouses back in Mexico. He had just started in the elote business upon moving to California, learning the trade from family members.
Now, a GoFundMe has been set in place in order to help Azcona and his family after the tragedy. Created by Azcona’s wife’s cousin Rosa Lopez, she explains the funds will go towards therapy costs, hospital bills, food and more. She also described how Azcona and his wife Jacqueline Lopez just arrived in California, and their young daughter had to be left behind with her grandparents in Mexico.
As a street vendor, Azcona will not be able to work for the time being.