A crowd protests outside the state Capitol against two controversial right-to-work bills that the Michigan House of Representatives passed in Lansing, Mich. on Tuesday Dec. 11, 2012. As chants of angry protesters filled the Capitol, Michigan lawmakers gave final approval Tuesday to right-to-work legislation, dealing a devastating and once-unthinkable defeat to organized labor in a state that has been a bastion of the movement for generations. (AP Photo/Detroit Free Press, Romain Blanquart) DETROIT NEWS OUT; NO SALES
A popular hot dog stand owner in downtown Lansing was caught up in one of the most dramatic events of Tuesday's protests.
Clint Tarver, also known as the "Hot Dog Guy" had his catering equipment destroyed when a tent was torn down during the protest at the Capitol.
Tarver was inside when the tent came crashing down.
"I found myself crawling out of it leaving all my stuff in there to get trampled on, destroyed and dumped all over the ground," says Tarver. "It was kind of scary because I never experienced anything like that."
Tarver says Americans for Prosperity hired him to cater the food. He tells 6 News he wasn't there to take political sides. "I'm not on this side, I'm not on that side, I'm just doing the job."
However, doing his job cost him hundreds of dollars. "I lost anywhere from $400 to $450 worth of catering equipment," says Tarver.
However, the Lansing community has stepped in to help him get back on his feet. In less than 48 hours, one of his fans helped him raise at least $17,000. The amount continues to grow throughout the day.
"I'm just overwhelmed. I had no idea that people are concerned about me and I was so well-liked," says Tarver.
Although his equipment has been crushed, his spirit remains strong.
"This isn't the last time you're going to see Clint the hot dog guy," says Tarver. "March 15, I'll be right back here on this corner doing my thing again acting like nothing ever happened."
Tarver wants to reassure customers that his hot dog stand wasn't at the rally and didn't get damaged. He says he's not selling hot dogs outside now, because it's too cold.
Tarver has been running his hot dog cart on the corner of Michigan and Capitol for the last five years.