A food truck owner confronted a mugger in Long Beach. He didn't notice he was bleeding until later


Days after Bryan Tecun confronted a mugger in Long Beach, the 30-year-old food truck owner still has trouble catching his breath to tell the story — the result of an injury he suffered during the adrenaline-pumping incident.

After a long night of serving hungry customers at his food truck, Bryan’s Birrieria, Tecun saw a man rob an older woman sitting on a bench in Long Beach. He asked her if she was OK and then, without thinking, gave chase.

“I just started to move,” Tecun said.

First, he maneuvered his food truck to cut off the mugger; then he jumped out to confront the man. There was an argument, then the two men wrestled over the woman’s cellphone. Tecun pulled away the phone that was wrapped in a jacket in the mugger’s hands.

Read more: Fight that led to a fatal stabbing at Dave’s Hot Chicken ends in an arrest at LAX, police say

During the March 10 struggle, Tecun thought he dislocated his shoulder. By the time he looked up, another person joined him to help get the woman’s phone and police were already on the scene.

It was shortly after 5 a.m. but Tecun felt the adrenaline surging through his body from the chase. Police later arrested 29-year-old Alexander Pierson, who was booked for robbery. He was being held in jail in lieu of a $75,000 bail, the Long Beach Police Department said.

Taco truck owner Bryan Tecun sits in the driver's seat of his truck.

Taco truck owner Bryan Tecun of Highland was stabbed while fighting with a thief who robbed a woman near his food truck on March 20, 2024. Tecun drove his taco truck down the street to block the thief and then jumped out to fight the man. (Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times)

“I spoke to police and then made sure to return the woman’s stuff back to her,” he said. “I didn’t need anything else, didn’t need police or medical help.”

But on the drive home Tecun felt the adrenaline start to die down. He called his wife to tell her what happened and said he was not feeling great, with pain surging through his chest. He drove to the lot where he parks his truck overnight and asked the security guard to help him park the vehicle because he was in so much discomfort. That’s when he asked someone to call 911.

Nurses at the hospital cut off his sweater. For the first time, Tecun saw blood and realized he had been stabbed near his neck and again in his rib cage, he said. One of his lungs collapsed and there was internal bleeding in his chest. Medical personnel described to him the extent of his injuries and the next steps they would take to treat him.

But it was all a blur.

“As they started to tell me where the puncture wounds were on my body, I panicked,” Tecun said.

Read more: Stray bullet kills vendor and father of 2 who was a fixture in Long Beach neighborhood

Tecun has trouble catching his breath now when retelling what happened. The details of that day are upsetting and he’s trying not to let that derail his recovery.

Even though he’s still hurt, Tecun has not contacted the Long Beach Police Department to disclose his injuries. Police encourage Tecun to come forward if he was seriously injured, but he’s reluctant and won’t say why.

“I feel like growing up, my dad instilled in me to be fearless and to never let anything hold us back,” he said. “I received the toughest love from my dad and the softest love from my mom.”

Over the phone, his voice is panicked as he starts to think of his four employees who are temporarily out of work while he recovers. He’s already picturing himself cooking, shopping and lifting the heavy metal pots full of birria in his truck, even though he still has a white bandage under his shirt where he was stabbed.

The Long Beach community is showing its support for Tecun. A GoFundMe started to help with his recovery has already generated nearly $30,000.

In the comments, well-wishers praise his heroic actions.

One person wrote, “Your mother must feel so proud to have a son like you, she definitely raised you right.”

“Every Good Samaritan deserves an angel,” someone else wrote.

“Most people today would turn away and not get involved. Your action gives me hope for mankind. God bless you.”

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.



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