The Board of Directors for the San Fernando National Little League canceled the rest of its season after threats were made through social media following an incident between its president, a local street vendor and a parent.
On Nov. 6, James Bullock was at Pioneer Park prepping the field for the Little League’s baseball games. Around noon, a Latino street vendor set up shop near the field’s snack bar. Noticing that more parents were buying from the vendor and less from the snack bar, Bullock asked a member of the league’s Board of Directors who spoke Spanish, to ask him to move.
In an interview with the San Fernando Valley Sun/el Sol, Bullock said the vendor did not move and continued to take more customers. Bullock then asked the vendor to move, at which point a parent yelled at Bullock, saying that the vendor was allowed to be there.
A verbal argument ensued between Bullock and the parent. The parent then took a video of Bullock standing next to the vendor, yelling at one parent and later walking with the vendor away from the snack bar. The video was posted on social media, which went viral.
Although not made directly to him, Bullock was told of physical threats against him online. Out of concern for children’s safety, the league’s Board of Directors canceled the rest of the season on Nov. 8. Bullock resigned as president later that same day due to the online backlash. He remains on the Board of Directors.
Canceling The Season Was The Greatest Harm
To Bullock, the issue is not about street vendors, it’s about the cancellation of the league’s season.
“Two hundred and fifty kids will not play [this season],” said Bullock. “The police and the unhappy parents have made this a San Fernando City vendor issue. This was not a fight with a vendor. … I use street vendors. I have no problem with street vendors.”
After the online threats were made, Bullock went to the police, who said that he should’ve called them on Sunday to move the vendor. Bullock chose not to call the police, saying that he just wanted the vendor to move, not for his cart to be shut down.
On the day of the incident, in the heat of the moment, Bullock admitted he threatened to cancel that day’s game after other parents from a different Little League tried to have the vendor come back after he had already walked away.
“Did I threaten to cancel the game? Absolutely, that happened,” Bullock said. “That was me getting very upset at being attacked on two sides, one by a parent [in the league] and one by a visiting parent who has no stake in our league but doesn’t seem to understand how leagues work.
“I shouldn’t have threatened to cancel a game. That was not okay.”
This incident occurred during a time when there is much attention given to the matters of hate speech and hate incidents. However, for Bullock — this was an incident that was neither and has blown up far larger than was warranted.
This incident can also be described as an example of how very differently those involved can view a situation and how those from the outside can magnify it — for better, or worse.
Bullock explained the snack bar is run by league volunteers to fundraise. The cost for Little Leaguers to register for a baseball team is $125, while the cost to register for a T-ball team is $100. Although the cost for team pictures, trophies and permits to rent fields have all increased, the league has not raised the prices for registration. This, however, has resulted in funds being tighter for the league.
Bullock has experienced firsthand how nearby vendors can impact the league. He recounted how, from October 2021 to October 2022, a mother of a child in the league (with the board’s permission) started selling food across from the snack bar. At first, snack bar sales weren’t affected, but over time, Bullock noticed a drop in revenue.
The snack bar went from making around $600 a night to a low of $200. Eventually, the board decided that she could not sell food there anymore and was asked to move elsewhere. By Bullock’s account, the parent took the news well, saying that it was a “great run.” The two of them are still in contact with each other.
In the video posted online, Bullock can be heard yelling at one parent that he was buying something from the vendor. Later in the video, the vendor said that Bullock did not buy anything from him. When asked about this, Bullock said that — although he wasn’t interested in any of the food items Jonathan Martinez Perez, the vendor, was selling — he did intend to buy something but backed away when a group of six or seven people came to support Perez.
“I wanted to show the guy that I’m not a bad guy,” Bullock said. “When I talked to him on the way, I think I kind of got some of that out of my system.”
Perez, who was caught in the middle of this issue, has been selling food from his cart for about six months around the City of San Fernando, including at Pioneer Park. Both he and Bullock have seen each other around the park, and both said that — up until that Sunday — there has been no issue between them.
In Perez’ account of the incident, after the first board member asked him to leave, he said that Bullock screamed at him to leave. Perez said he couldn’t understand what Bullock was saying because he does not understand English.
Although he said that Bullock tried to explain why he needed him to move, Perez had thought about never coming back because of the incident.
“I try to avoid problems, and I already have enough problems with the City [of San Fernando] when they’re trying to kick me out,” Perez said.
Perez said that he’s been approached twice by a City official about regulations and permits. Although he has tried to follow the rules, Perez said that it’s been extremely difficult to get the permits he needs.
When asked, Bullock denied yelling at Perez, but said it could have been possible that he had intimidated him, which was not his intent.
Street Vendor Advocate Views Incident As Racism
On Nov. 13, a community buyout event was held at Pioneer Park to support Perez after the incident, although only a few people showed up. It was organized by Edin Alex Enamorado, a street vendor advocate from Southeast Los Angeles. He has helped street vendors across LA County before and heard about this incident through social media. Enamorado said he is going to help Perez get the permits he needs.
“This situation really pissed me off because I coached and I’ve run leagues before and I understand the whole run through,” Enamorado said. “I got in contact with the vendor, just wanted to show a little bit of support, let him know that he’s not alone and basically expose James Bullock for what he did.”
Enamorado said that Bullock’s statement after the incident, which was posted on the league’s Instagram account, was “full of narcissism and just gaslighting, blaming the situation on parents [and] blaming the situation on the vendor.”
Enamorado is basing his belief on what he claims are stories he says he heard from Bullock’s old co-workers that he is a bigot. In a video posted on Instagram, he called Bullock a “racist vigilante” and brought up Bullock’s previous place of employment at Golden State Jet. The company commented on Enamorado’s video, saying that Bullock has not worked there since 2019.
“It’s just concerning to have this person around the community as a leader,” Enamorado said.
Bullock said all the hate he has received has been through social media. He said that all the parents who were present during the game that were upset with him have his phone number but none of them have contacted him after the incident.
He criticized online activists like Enamorado for not only spreading allegations without any research, but for going after his previous and current employers, who were not involved with the incident. The flier advertising the buyout event, which called Bullock a “racist vigilante,” was even shared by comedian George Lopez.
Bullock said that those companies are taking legal action for the harassment they have been receiving.
“They [activists] have called for my firing, they’ve called my employer [and] they’ve called my previous employer,” Bullock said. “These people that they’re contacting are very angry and they are taking legal action and that’s nothing to do with me, but you cannot harass businesses based on allegations.
“I really couldn’t care less what a loudmouth, ignorant TikTok guy thinks of me.”
Bullock also said that the racism allegations have fueled the hate from outside the community and that he has been labeled a racist because he is white in a predominantly Latino community, and pointed out how, although he has been called a vigilante, the actions by these online activists like Enamorado are closer to the definition of vigilantism.
“For him to assume that I did it out of race because I am white and the majority of [the community is] brown, that sounds like a racist, so I feel like he is calling me what he is,” Bullock said. “I’m not in the name calling business, but it’s so ironic to me.”
After the season was canceled, the Board of Directors decided to rescind their decision to keep vendors away from the front of the snack bar. Although Bullock is still a member, the board lacks a president for the time being. Bullock had been president since 2018 and was originally supposed to end his term in August 2024.
The Board of Directors is meeting with San Fernando Police Chief Fabian Valdez this week to discuss safety at the park and hopefully reinstate the Little League season, but Bullock said that possibility is unlikely.