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Police make arrest in vicious attack on Ray Alvarez, beloved Avenue A egg cream king

BY LINCOLN ANDERSON | As Ray Alvarez, the 90-year-old proprietor of Ray’s Candy Store on Avenue A, continued to recover from a shocking attack last Tuesday night, police on Saturday morning announced the arrest of a local suspect.

Cops said that late on Friday night, Luis Peroza, 39, of 109 Avenue D, was arrested and charged with assault at the East Village’s Ninth Precinct.

The building at 109 Avenue D, at Eighth Street, has 45 units and was taken over in 1992 by Community Access, one of the city’s oldest and largest providers of supportive housing. The organization’s Web site states: “Founded in 1974, Community Access is a pioneer of supportive housing and social services in NYC for people with mental health concerns.”

Friday evening, Ray, real name Asghar Ghahraman, for once could not be found behind the counter at his hole-in-the-wall store for the overnight shift. The Avenue A iron man was taking it easy after the violent incident and still recovering at his home nearby, a Ray’s staffer said. Asked about the extent of his injuries, she said he didn’t have a concusssion, but that the attack broke one of his cheekbones.

A surveillance photo image of the alleged suspect taken on Avenue C. (NYPD)

According to the New York Post, Ray also suffered a broken bone on the side of his face and his jaw was dislocated, so he can only currently take in nutrients by straw.

According to police and news reports, on Tues., Jan. 31, around 3 a.m., Ray was in front of his store, at 113 Avenue A, near Seventh Street, having stepped out to get some fresh air. The suspect approached him and tried to sell him several six packs of soda.

When Ray declined, the suspect allegedly told another guy to hold the sodas, then told the longtime Avenue A fried Oreos and beignets wizard he was going to kill him. The stranger then struck out at Ray with what was described as a heavy object, possibly a rock, on the end of a belt. He hit the small business owner on the left side of his head, causing a severe laceration and bleeding, and also leaving him with a black eye.

The attacker then fled on foot southbound on Avenue A. Ray was not immediately hospitalized after the bloody assault.

Police provided surveillance video and photos of the suspect that were taken from 158 Avenue C, at 10th Street.


  1. Chris Flash Chris Flash February 5, 2023

    The perp was being sought by certain people in the neighborhood. He was fortunate that the NYPD got him and his accomplice, known in the park as “Insanity Claus,” FIRST.

  2. Carol from East 5th Street Carol from East 5th Street February 4, 2023

    Yes indeed we need more police presence but the 9th Precinct is down 30 officers and the City Council is looking to defund the NYPD. Contact your local CC representative ( Carline Rivera) and tell her we need MORE police!

  3. C.J. Scheiner C.J. Scheiner February 4, 2023

    I hope The Village Sun will follow up on this story, both as to how Ray is recovering and what the fate of the assailant is. Will it be another case of “catch and release”, immediately endangering the safety of everyone in the neighborhood, or will the perpetrator be held in custody until being sent to a mental health facility or prison?

  4. Mary Reinholz Mary Reinholz February 4, 2023

    This tragic story about the attack on a beloved East Village icon, age 90, is a reminder that seniors are especially vulnerable to predatory scum looking to rob people on the streets of New York.

  5. Lynn Marrapodi Lynn Marrapodi February 4, 2023

    Dear Ray…the East Village is behind you wishing you a speedy recovery. We all love you!

  6. anthony donovan anthony donovan February 4, 2023

    Ray, we deeply deeply appreciate your wonderful presence all these many decades. Extremely sorry for this attack, on all of us, but which you had to bear. Speedy recovery. Remember please that all that have met and know you love you. Heal up, emotionally and physically in that light from this neighborhood. Thank you, Ray. Thank you, Village Sun for letting us know. Let’s protect and help all around us.
    together. our strength.

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