Sorry, Man. Keep it Movin'

Man receives warning from police after trying to sell DVDs at downtown intersection.

When friends ask me about downtown Livermore I usually fall back on this go-to description: charming.

And when my friends visit I often hear the ladies say, "Oh, it's cute here!"

Downtown Livermore: charming and cute. Sounds like a keeper.

While the word "cute" isn't something I regularly throw out, I'm sure it's not my first choice to describe a man selling used DVDs at a downtown intersection. Not cute, bro. Nor charming.

But don't tell Derek Ott that.

The 35-year-old Livermore resident received a warning from police for doing just that — trying to sell used DVDs Thursday afternoon at the intersection of First and South K streets, just outside .

At around 2:40 p.m. the Navy vet who said he was on permanent disability began unloading about 20 DVDs on the ground, near the crosswalk that leads to the .

And oh, can't forget about the "DVDs For Sale" cardboard sign he placed on the intersection light post.

Ott then sat on a garden- or beach-like chair with an American flag and waited for customers.

Some of the titles he had for sale included Mamma Mia!, Hart's War featuring Bruce Willis, and Happy Gilmore — a personal favorite of mine.

"They're all good. I just seen them all," Ott said of his DVDs, which he was selling for around $5 each. "I'm just trying to make a few bucks to pay my light bill."

However, his makeshift DVD shop was short lived.

Within five minutes a officer came by after the department received a complaint from someone in the area.

Ott, who didn't make a sale, was given a warning from the officer and then packed up his belongings.

"He told me what I was doing was illegal and that I needed a permit," Ott said of the police warning. "I can't find a job. I can't make a buck off the street?"

You can. Just not here and in that fashion.

I'm not trying to knock Ott's hustle or any person trying to make a few extra dollars to pay bills. Times are tough — I know. But there's a time and a place. Hello, Craigslist?

All I know is if I start to see more street sales while hangin' around downtown, I'm going to have to find another go-to description.

Stay charming, Livermore.

OK, fine. Stay cute too.

Sean March 02, 2012 at 05:04 PM
The difference is that those women are moving around not spreading out stuff on the sidewalk. I have a bunch of old car parts- would it be OK for me to drop them in front of the alehouse to make a few bucks for gas? I do feel for the guy but come on, this isn't telegraph- though at times it does look like it. That's a comment for another time...
Linda Lawrence March 02, 2012 at 06:08 PM
Wow so sad that there is little compassion for this Man, who served our country, because some want the Downtown to have a certain “image”. Sorry but that absolutely sounds pretentious and uptight. There is room for Downtown to have a nice Atmosphere and compassion. I would hope maybe one shop there will maybe consign his stuff to sell or someone see how he can be helped. Certainly lumping everyone on hard times as Riffraff (Or even saying the word riffraff lol) sounds pretentious.
Renee Haugen March 02, 2012 at 06:45 PM
It doesn't say he's homeless, he said he's trying to pay his light bill. Why doesn't he just have a yard sale? Why doesn't he just ask a neighbor who's having a yard sale if he can sell his DVD's there? Why doesn't he sell them on Craigslist? Why doesn't he just take his stuff to the LARPD rummage sale they sponsor a couple of times a year? Why does he need to stand on a street corner when there are legal ways to sell the DVD's?
Generation X Citizen March 02, 2012 at 06:51 PM
What about the South American Man selling oranges and strawberries at Bluebell and North Front ?
Ken Rovasio March 02, 2012 at 06:59 PM
I made the comment if reference to street vendors. I love to go to to Berkeley and shop around but I would not want the vendors like that in Livermore. Save it for Wine Country Festival in May. I would also love to see some of the shops that make up Berkeley in Livermore. So again, not picking on Berkeley, just don't want to see downtown turn into vendorville.
Ken Rovasio March 02, 2012 at 07:01 PM
What about him? If you don't like it, call the police!
Donna March 02, 2012 at 07:14 PM
I have been a resident of Livermore for 40 years. When I was in junior high downtown had cruise night where people came from all over to just ride up and down our First Street. I was even able to see when AMW filmed their police chase using our First Street. When people say what's wrong with non permit vendors setting up shop in front of paying commercial renters that's a problem. Some of you have stated what's wrong with being like Berkeley and similar cities. REALLY? You have to ask that?? I have a junior high school child that goes to the movies downtown with his friends. Have you ever went downtown on Friday or Saturday that's where kid hang out, just as I did. It's safe. Come on if we become a Berkeley where would the kids go? When visiting Berkeley and similar places have you notice the type of teens you do see? Well when I visit those areas I rarely see teens just hanging out its usually homeless teens? Not saying all of them are but most teens have a cup in their hands. Let's not talk about the smell of urine in the air. I dont want Livermores downtown like that. It's bad enough the police is not doing more about these people selling oranges and strawberries on the corner. You don't see that crap in Pleasanton or Dublin. That's what the farmers market is for.
Linda Carolson March 02, 2012 at 07:51 PM
I would rather see a veteran selling DVDs than the panhandlers that seem to have taken up residence at the entrance to shopping centers. Some of them have been at the same store entrance for years with their "out of work" or "family living in hotel" signs. Im mean, get a job people! You can't find work sitting on the corner all day asking other people to support you. This poor veteran is disabled and cannot work. Although I agree the sidewalk on First Street is not the appropriate place. I think the previous commentor was correct in that the Farmer's Market would be a better venue. I like to think out of the box so here's my suggestion - check with people having garage sales and see if he can sell DVDs there. They might get more people to their sale with Mr. Ott and his DVDs. And Mr. Ott would be locating himself in a place where people are already coming to shop for used merchandise. That would be a win-win for all!
Sean March 02, 2012 at 09:13 PM
You don't see it in Dublin because even the homeless don't want to stay in Dublin.
Donna March 02, 2012 at 09:39 PM
Regarding the homeless 1 guy has been a Livermore resident for years and he just never had a job that I no of I believe his name is Junior. There is another long time resident who was taking care of his mother and she past away his family member came and sold the home and now you see him on the streets. I feel for Mr. Ott and some of the others out there. Livermore is even safe for the homeless but it would be nice if there was some type of program that could help them. They are not all bad.
Speedie B March 02, 2012 at 11:42 PM
Mr. Ott has shown many qualities of being a good person and citizen. He wants to pay his bills with money he's earned by selling personal belongings rather than beg for money or just refuse to pay and hope the State steps in to take care of him with taxpayer money. Additionally, he's served time in the military, which gives him additional points in my book. But there is a time and place for selling your wares, and downtown 1st Street without a permit is not a place to set up shop. Within Livermore, the fastest and easiest to sell is through a garage sale, Craigslist or community rummage sale. To get a permit is relatively easy (but not as cheap as surrounding cities), and if you are selling stuff, you'll need a resale license (free from the State Board of Equalization, but it takes a couple of weeks), because you'll have to pay tax on what you sell. And if you want to sell at Farmer's Market or the upcoming Festival, fees are $75/day for the Farmer's Market or $290/table at the Festival. So, if Mr. Ott needs a few dollars to pay his energy bill, these are not good options. The City of Livermore can always come up with a site use plan that would create more of a swap meet type event where you don't need permits and can bring your stuff to sell. This would be a great way for people like Mr. Ott to earn cash for selling items as well as craft vendors who can't afford all the fees. Maybe we should push for the City to consider hosting this type of event on occasion.
KWalkerM March 03, 2012 at 09:15 AM
Oh step off your high horse, I personally like sone opinion in journalism. It can point out a side in a way that may have been missed. Frankly he does a good job of keeping it on topic as I have problems with transients that do the same thing downtown but I am less apt to hold my tongue about t.
KWalkerM March 03, 2012 at 09:20 AM
Might I remind you that this is a cow town and not a big city on the beach. Last I checked Livermore High had a rodeo team, and not a surfing team.
KWalkerM March 03, 2012 at 09:25 AM
It's still a cow town, and it should stay that way. LHS still has the rodeo team and those students work ranchs in the area.
Kirsten March 03, 2012 at 05:05 PM
Mr. Ott happens to be a very good man and is a friend of ours... Thank you to those of you for your kind comments,he is a great guy and a very hard worker,he is also practically crippled due to a horrible accident that he had while serving his country,and they have the nerve to sign him off at 856 dollars a month... This is why I feel it is so important that we be aware of how we treat our vets when they come home,Derek has unfortunately been one of those who has fallen through the cracks,so before you judge the guy in the silly hat trying to sell DVD's in your charming, yet albeit pretentious little town,get your facts...
Ken G. March 03, 2012 at 06:32 PM
There is a homeless man who hangs out in downtown Livermore. He has a disheveled appearance and is in need of a bath and clean clothes. I'm sure many of you know who I'm taking about. But my family has talked to this man and found him to be very nice. He doesn't hurt anyone, except maybe himself. We asked him what he really needed. He told us he needed new shoes. We got his size and went and bought him some shoes. We later discovered that other people had helped this man in the same manner. That's what kind of town Livermore is. I thank Mr. Ott for his service to the country. He seems to be a very reasonable man. Not his fault, not the police department's fault, just a compassionate response to a complaint. Based on the info in the article, his response was more reasonable than some of the posts I have read here.
salima S March 03, 2012 at 06:37 PM
How about harrassing the fake homeless that beg for money in front of Safeway sitting on the rock. The white lady that sits there drives a orange late model SUV...she parks it right next to Applebees. As for the black guy that sits there...so bro you haven't made your 38.00 yet to get back to Seattle in 4 months of begging? Give me a break...but yeah harass someone trying to make a buck off of selling DVS's. Livermore Police are a joke!
salima S March 03, 2012 at 06:38 PM
Welcome to AmeriKa .....the Police State!
salima S March 03, 2012 at 06:40 PM
Uh yes you do see that crap in Dublin and Pleasanton. Just because YOU don't see it doesn't mean it does not exist!
Angel March 05, 2012 at 09:54 AM
You got your moment of fame Mr.Ott.......Hats off to you! Do you have anything good?{I like comedy} If anyone would like to pay my light bill it's only 25 bucks. CALL ME
Cathy March 05, 2012 at 09:26 PM
Good Job Livermore PD!
Justthefacts March 08, 2012 at 02:03 AM
Is this not the same Derek Ott that is listed as a sex offender? Public records show a Derek Anthony Ott (picture looks just like him) residing somewhere on First Street. If so, he was charged with lewd or liscivious acts with a child under 14 years of age. If this is him then keep movin on is correct, and keep him far away from my kid!!
photogirl March 12, 2012 at 05:11 AM
Um - theve been there every day for months. They both smoke, have iphones and drink starbucks. And Ive actually seen them getting into a newer (2000+) black expedition. And ive actually seen them drive into the parking lot of the hotel off Bluebell. Last I checked, thats not being homeless. But in terms of the DVD guy, I moved to Livermore because it was safe. Im in my late 20s, am starting a family and moved here because the crime was low and it was a family oriented town. The downtown was something that appealed to us -- but now I dont walk around by myself, because Ive been harrassed by the people that hang out in front of Panama Red on more than one occasion and I dont love being followed to my car or be called names because I wont give them money. It brings down the town -- You dont see them in Danville or San Ramon -- the police dont let them hang out and panhandle.
Rich Buckley March 26, 2012 at 02:01 PM
Someone who knows Mr Ott, ask him to call me at 443-1122 and ask for "Rich". Might have a win-win situation.
roxanne March 26, 2012 at 05:08 PM
Paid actors penetrate Livermore go to well aware 1 dot come or you tube to learn
fairly.reasonable.reasonably.fair May 27, 2012 at 10:00 PM
Sadly, yes, I believe you're right. I would link but it's an easy Megan's Law search. To his defense, there aren't any schools or playgrounds near where he is peddling his wares. He's doing nothing that would raise an issue with the guidelines for RSO's to be clear.
fairly.reasonable.reasonably.fair May 31, 2012 at 04:45 AM
Before you read on, please take note of recent comments below as of May 2012. More info has come to light (a simple search every single person should make before living or even staying somewhere should do found this). This could have been far worse.
Dtayls 4me July 13, 2012 at 08:50 PM
Twenty years ago we weren't a 3rd world country. Our leaders have led us down the primrose path blindfolded and now we are expected to live in a civilized manner (their definition of civilized, not mine) without benefit of two basic liberties...to self-preserve and to live and let live. Government intrusion at all levels into our lives is becoming intolerable and the Telegraph Ave lifestyle is the result.
countmein September 05, 2012 at 08:30 AM
@Robert... The ignorant faced Mr. Open-Carry- Walter Stanley is a two timing, non-child supporter, with five children from two different women, and thinks he can get away with anything that is against the law...including selling/doing drugs. Believe me, he's not worth seeing. If you did, he would probably catch you on video with his handy dandy little homemade necklace video camera. While at the same time reciting all the penal codes that he has memorized. And if you do see him, tell him to get a job and stop running from the DCSS. Or maybe he should start selling used dvd's!
reggieqh1 December 24, 2012 at 06:51 PM
But why did you give him the money, because you wanted to feel good? The government gives away cell phones to the homeless. And maybe those nice clothes he was in were donated for a job interview, who knows. If you want to make sure your money goes to those really in need only give it to a well vetted charity. Otherwise if you give it to some stranger just think of it as that, giving money to a stranger just because he asked. Their story really doesn't matter.


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