Chris Caputo, a candidate for the Wilton Manors City Commission, led a protest in front of Ron’s Barbershop last week to support a trans friend, who had been fired from the shop after a dispute that turned physical.
According to a police incident report Rivera, and the owner of the shop, Ron Cerreta, got into a heated argument after Cerreta confronted Riveraover her station not being clean.
Rivera told police that while the two of them argued over a beauty product Cerreta grabbed her by the hair and pulled her to the ground.
According to the report Cerreta told the police the same story but said he never “struck” Rivera.
Two witnesses interviewed by the police confirmed that Cerreta was the aggressor, and did pull Rivera’s hair, but never struck her.
About two dozen protestors showed up to support Rivera.
“We will not tolerate violence against trans women, period, from no one. No justice, no peace in the community,” said Tatiana Williams. While Ryan Keeland added: “I want to support our transgender brothers and sisters. We have to stand up for what’s right and help protect those people.
Before the protest Cerreta told SFGN he chalked up the confrontation to a misunderstanding.
“I started wiping off all the water that she spilled all over the station, and she thought I was touching her stuff again, so she ran up behind me and pushed up against me, and I pushed her back. Two guys jumped in,” he explained. “That was the end of it. That was it.”
Cerreta said the incident was over in 10 seconds and it happened so quick he doesn’t remember pulling her hair.
“To be honest with you, it was so fast, it was just such a quick turn and it was done,” he said. “I'm not saying I didn't do it, I don't remember it.
According to the witnesses interviewed in the incident report they claim Cerreta was the aggressor.
Rivera though said the day of the incident she simply had had enough of his verbal assaults.
“When he fired me I had nothing to lose so I gave him a piece of my mind,” she said. “My fiery words set something off in him. There was a rage that I have never seen in his eyes before. He snapped. He was a completely different person. And he did not snap out of that until the three men jumped on top of him to restrain him and then in an instant, poof, he was back to being himself.”