Thugs brutally beat 90-year-old owner of iconic New York candy store, arrests follow

Ray Alvarez, owner of Ray’s Candy Store

Another day in New York, another violent crime against the innocent.

Ray Alvarez, the 90-year-old owner of Ray’s Candy Store in the East Village, was brutally beaten by robbers on Tuesday, 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 U.S. in 1964 to pursue the American dream, opening Ray’s in 1974. The store is so famous it has its own Wikipedia page.

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The New York Post reports:

But Ray Alvarez — who was left with a bruised eye and a nasty cut on his face from Tuesday’s cowardly attack — said it never would have happened if more officers had been patrolling the neighborhood, which other residents agreed has become increasingly unsafe. .

“There’s a lot of crime because there’s not enough police,” Alvarez told The Post on Thursday. “Before, we had the police on foot patrol, walking up and down. No more.”

An East Village police officer was randomly attacked around 3 a.m. Tuesday by a stranger who asked him if he wanted to buy a package he was carrying, officers said.

Fellow business owners in the area are concerned about the city’s skyrocketing crime rate.

The post continues:

Neighborhood residents and merchants said it was a symptom of the neighborhood’s declining quality of life in recent years.

“There’s no safety,” said Joe Ali, owner of the nearby East Village New Deli. “It’s not good. Taking money from the police and all that crap is leading to this. It’s ridiculous.”

But he added that the situation “is getting worse and worse”.

“I expected the administration to do a better job, but they’re not doing that,” 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 that person’s humanity is,” she said. “There’s no justification for doing this to anyone but a 90-year-old?”

Police captured images of 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 sadistic beating of unsuspecting Ray Alvarez, 90, whose injuries were so severe he now has to eat through a straw, he told the Post. Authorities believe Barth and Peroza, also of the East Village, were on the loose in the neighborhood and that their trip included Alvarez’ Avenue A store, sources said.

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