A hot dog vendor in Albuquerque, N.M., is accused of being a little hot-headed when dealing with a rival -- by running over the competition's foot with his cart.
Albuquerque police have charged Eric Kilmer with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon -- a felony -- after he rammed his hot dog cart into rival vendor Vincent Montoya and ran over Montoya's legs and feet, KOB-TV reported.
The weenie war steamed up because the two vendors work the sidewalks in front of the city's Metro Court -- a hot place to sell hot dogs, according to locals.
Kilmer appeared in court on Thursday and pleaded not guilty to the charges, and his lawyer, Shannon Robinson, said the whole incident was an accident.
"If this was a vehicle it would have been a traffic accident," Robinson told KOB-TV. "We feel like at the worst it was a misunderstanding. We believe it was an accident from the beginning. Sad to say, you know how competitive it is out there."
That excuse didn't cut the mustard with Montoya, who said Kilmer was relishing the chance to muscle in on his turf.
"I freaked out," Montoya told KOB-TV. "I mean it happened so quick, it was like -- is this really happening? The adrenaline was pumping so fast, I couldn't believe it!"
Montoya claimed he still hurts from the run-in with the hot dog cart.
"I'm still a little sore," Montoya said. "My legs are sore, my back is hurting, but other than that I'm able to come out here and open my cart. Business still has to go on, right? Unfortunately, I can't stop."
The judge ordered Kilmer to stay away from his hot dog carts at the courthouse, but he will be able to conduct other business at the court. Ironically, he's also a bail bondsman, and now has a $2,500 bond of his own, as well a 1985 conviction for aggravated battery, similar to the felony charge he faces now.
If Kilmer is convicted, he could face up to three years in prison, according to Associated Press.
Meanwhile, Wednesday's opening salvo in the weenie wars has other vendors like coffee cart owner Julieta Chavez in a pickle.
"I'm out here by myself and I don't want something like that to happen to me as well," she said. "You don't want violence."
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