It's tough out there for a street food vendor—if it's not the Health Department breaking your stones over hand-washing, or the cops chasing you away, it's the dreaded Halal Mafia bringing the hammer down should you so much as peddle a pretzel at the most lucrative spots. Yesterday, a heated argument over turf between vendors at City Hall Park devolved into cane-swinging violence, with one vendor left bloodied and another taken away in handcuffs.

Halal vendor Jacques Sterlin, 66, was arrested after allegedly beating a competitor with a cane yesterday afternoon. According to the Post, the altercation began when the victim and his employer, Hristos Serertas, showed up at the plaza and began undercutting the competition by hawking water, hot dogs, and other items for $1. "$1! $1 here! Everything!” yelled Serertas, who told DNAinfo he didn't have a permit to vend at the location, but had no sympathy for his competitors. "These guys are criminals," yelled Serertas. "They're the halal mafia!"

Another halal vendor, Carlos Rodriguez, 56, is a disabled Vietnam War veteran. Like other veterans, he has special permission to vend thanks to a law dating back to the end of the 19th century. Rodriguez and Serertas were screaming at each other for a half hour, and things apparently boiled over after Serertas accused Rodriguez of using his status as a veteran to force other vendors to pay him for the right to sell in the park. (The common practice is called "rent-a-vet.")

After Sterlin stepped in and allegedly beat Serertas's worker with a cane, police were called and he was arrested. (According to DNAinfo, the unidentified victim's face and windbreaker jacket were covered in blood.) Parks police, meanwhile, escorted Serertas out of the park and issued him a fine for vending without a license. And so peace has been restored in the fragile food vendor ecosystem... at least until Mister Softee rolls up with a baseball bat.