"As she was trying to pull the cart away, she pushed me," said Inga, who is three months pregnant. "She took the cart and threw me on the ground. . . . I hit myself on the stomach area and I felt dizzy."
Parks Department officials said they believe the employee involved in the incident was a seasonal worker or a welfare-to-work employe.
Inga was scraped and bruised on her arms and legs. Her husband called police, and she was taken to Maimonides Medical Center because she was afraid the fall hurt her unborn child.
"I was crying," she said. "I was very afraid because I hurt my stomach. . . . I thought something was going to happen with my baby." No complications with the pregnancy were found.
Inga, a native of Ecuador, said she has been legally vending around the park for five years, but lacks a hard-to-get license to sell inside the park.
"She said, 'You guys only sell garbage, and you guys are dirty, that's why you can't be in this park,' " Gonzalez said. "She twisted my arm. . . . There are days that it still hurts a lot."
"These folks are just working and trying to make a living," said Rafael Samanez, director of the vendors' group VAMOS Unidos. "That person needs to be fired. . . . She has no right to do that to any vendor."
Parks officials said they're looking into the incident.
"Parks takes all reports of misconduct seriously and will fully investigate the circumstances surrounding this allegation," said spokeswoman Vickie Karp.
Joe Puleo, vice president of the Parks Enforcement Patrol officers' union, said no PEP officers were involved, noting the city is increasingly leaning on the temporary workers.
"They're putting them to actively do law enforcement work, which they don't have the authority, the background or the ability to do," he said. "This is part of the end result."