BY THE VILLAGE SUN | 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.
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.