Suspects Arrested for Ray’s Candy Store Attacks


Lily Cravens

     A man has been arrested for allegedly assaulting the 90-year-old owner of a candy store in New York City. Luiz Peroza, 39, was arrested on charges of assault for allegedly striking Ray Alvarez, owner of Ray’s Candy Store. Ray was injured in the head and in the face, according to the New York Police Department. Around three in the morning on Tuesday, Peroza approached Alvarez and asked if he wanted to buy a package from him. When Alvarez asked what was inside the package, Peroza told Alvarez he was going to kill him and asked another man to hold the package. Peroza then assaulted Alvarez with an object described as “a belt with a heavy rock on the end.” According to the complaint filed by Manhattan prosecutors, the object caused “a deep, bleeding laceration” to his head and “a broken orbital bone and substantial pain.” Afterwards, Peroza fled from the scene on foot. Peroza and a second man, 55-year-old Gerald Barth, are also charged with robbing a man just 35 minutes later outside of an Avenue C deli. Peroza was spotted on surveillance footage in the neighborhood at least three times in the hours after the attacks. Peroza was arrested on Sunday, with a bail set at $200,000. He is charged with first- and second-degree assault, two counts of first-degree robbery, and two counts of first-degree attempted robbery. It is unknown if he has legal representation. 

     Ray’s Candy Store is located in Manhattan’s East Village neighborhood and has been a New York institution since 1974. It is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week; Ray’s is known for its candy, milkshakes, fried Oreos, egg creams, hot dogs, and more. Alvarez’s store was in danger of closing due to financial related difficulties due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but local community members raised over $59,000 on a GoFundMe to keep Ray’s Candy Store going.