Ray Alvarez, owner of Ray’s Candy Store
Another day in New York, another violent crime against an innocent.
On Tuesday, Ray Alvarez, the 90-year-old owner of Ray’s Candy Store in the East Village, was brutally beaten by thugs, leaving him with a black and swollen eye and a cut on his face. Despite the attack, Alvarez returned to work the next morning.
Born in Iran, Alvarez came to the United States in 1964 to pursue the American Dream, opening Ray’s in 1974. The store is so well known that it has its own Wikipedia page.
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The New York Post reports:
But Ray Alvarez — who was left with a black eye and a nasty cut on his face from Tuesday’s cowardly attack — said it never would have happened if more police patrolled the neighborhood, which other locals agree has become increasingly unsafe.
“There’s a lot of crime happening because there aren’t enough police,” Alvarez told the Post Thursday. “We used to have foot patrols, walking up and down. No more.”
The East Village principal was randomly attacked around 3 a.m. Tuesday by a stranger who asked him if he wanted to buy a package he was carrying, police said.
Fellow businessmen in the city are concerned about skyrocketing crime in the city.
Neighborhood residents and businesses say it’s a symptom of the neighborhood’s declining quality of life in recent years.
“There’s no security,” said Joe Ali, who owns the nearby East Village New Deli. “It’s not good. Defending the police and leading to all such s-t. It’s ridiculous.”
Ali added that the situation is “going from bad to worse.”
“I expected the administration to do better, but they are not,” he told The Post. “You can steal, you can stab, you can do anything and the next day, you’re out.”
Longtime local Lori Solomon called the attack on Alvarez “absolutely horrific.”
“I don’t even know what to say. I don’t know where is the humanity of this person,” he said. “There’s no justification for doing this to anyone, but a 90-year-old man?”
Police captured the attackers on video and announced Saturday that two suspects had been arrested. According to the Post, “Luis Peroza, 39, and Gerald Barth, 55, were arrested in the tragic smackdown of suspect Ray Alvarez, 90, whose injuries were so severe he now has to eat with a straw, he told The Post. Authorities believe that Barth and Peroza, also of the East Village, ran the neighborhood and included shops on Alvarez Avenue, sources said.