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Where the Wild Things Are

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By Anna Scott

On Monday, June 16, Lejla Hadzimuratovic, an actress and volunteer for the nonprofit People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, went to gather video and photographs of a vendor selling birds near 12th and Maple streets.

Known for occasionally employing confrontational, attention-grabbing tactics, PETA frequently uses cameras, sometimes hidden, to expose animal abuse or mistreatment.

Twenty-year-old Crystal Avarez and a 17-year-old girl, who asked that her name not be revealed because she feared retribution, accompanied Hadzimuratovic. The two said they are not affiliated with PETA.

After the three began snapping photos, Hadzimuratovic and Avarez said, the two vendors, a man and a woman, confronted them. They argued, and minutes later, they said, two vehicles pulled up and a group of women jumped out. The three were battered and chased away.

"They started pushing and slapping us and asking for identification," said Avarez. "We started running to the car, and they [would not] let us get in. It was like a mob."

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