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Pair indicted in vicious attack on Ray, Avenue A egg cream icon

BY LINCOLN ANDERSON | The two men accused of attacking beloved merchant Ray Alvarez will be going to trial.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg on Wednesday announced the indictment of Luis Peroza, 39, and Gerald Barth, 55, for an assault and robbery spree in the East Village on Jan. 31 that included an attack on Ray Alvarez, 90, the owner of Ray’s Candy Store, at E. Seventh Street.

Peroza and Barth are charged in a New York State Supreme Court indictment with multiple counts of assault, robbery and attempted robbery.

“Ray’s Candy Store is a beloved staple in the East Village community, and the attack on its owner is deeply upsetting to everyone who has ever visited this local institution,” Bragg said. “In addition to this alleged assault, these defendants are also charged with attacking two other strangers on the street within mere hours. My office continues to zero in on violence every day because New Yorkers deserve to feel safe in their workplace or walking around their neighborhood without the fear of being attacked.”

According to court documents and statements made in court, on Jan. 31 around 3 a.m., Peroza approached Ray, who was standing outside of the store on Avenue A. Peroza asked if the longtime local merchant would purchase canned drinks from him, but Ray declined. Peroza then handed the drinks to Barth, came back to Ray and struck him in the head with an unknown weapon, cutting his face and giving him a black eye, fracturing facial bones and breaking his jaw.

However, Ray was not the violent duo’s only victim that night. About a half hour later, according to court documents and statements, Peroza and Barth demanded money from a 33-year-old man as he left a deli on Avenue C. The victim said he had none, and Peroza struck him on his face with an unknown object, breaking his orbital bone and causing a severe laceration.

Several hours later, Barth reportedly approached a 51-year-old man on Avenue B and asked for a cigarette. When the man declined, Peroza approached him and struck him in the back of the head, again, with the unknown object. The attacker then grabbed the victim’s cell phone before continuing to strike him with the weapon multiple times, cutting his face, knocking out a tooth and fracturing facial bones.

Bragg thanked the Police Department’s 9th Precinct, particularly singling out Detective Matthew Santoro.

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