The 90-year-old proprietor of Ray’s Candy Store was brutally overwhelmed by a stranger outdoors his famed East Village store — and nonetheless didn’t miss a day behind the counter.
But Ray Alvarez — who was left with a black eye and a nasty minimize on his face from the cowardly assault on Tuesday –mentioned it by no means would’ve occurred if there have been extra cops patrolling the neighborhood, which different locals agreed has turn out to be more and more unsafe.
“There is loads of crime as a result of there’s not sufficient police,” Alvarez advised The Post Thursday. “We used to have police on foot patrol, strolling up and down. No extra.”
The East Village stalwart was randomly attacked round 3 a.m. Tuesday by a stranger who requested him if he wished to purchase a bundle he was carrying, cops mentioned.
When Alvarez requested what was contained in the field, the perp handed it off to a different man — and threatened to kill the proprietor, police mentioned.
“They had soda. They wished to promote it to me. I mentioned no. One punched my head and my chest. One handed [the soda] to the opposite man, ‘Hold this, I’m going to kill this man,’” Alvarez recalled Thursday.
“I couldn’t consider it,” he mentioned.
The creep then “pulled one thing out from beneath his jacket, like a belt with a stone on one finish, and he hit me with it,” Alvarez mentioned.
“I went down, bleeding,” he continued. “I believed I’m by no means going to make it. He hit me in a really unhealthy spot. I simply wish to lay down.”
Alvarez mentioned he didn’t search medical consideration, however merely tried to fall asleep regardless of being “shaken up and I used to be badly harm.”
Despite the pummeling, he mentioned he reported for work within the morning, persevering with to sling egg lotions and sweets.
“I had an ice cream supply,” he defined. “I’m right here 49 years. I had in the future off.”
Still, the native legend mentioned “issues must be carried out” about crime within the neighborhood, saying his enterprise has been focused by thieves.
“They steal a gallon of milk or the cups,” he griped. “If someone comes with a bag and takes all this, I’ve no proper to the touch that bag. They have extra rights than I’ve.”
Police on Thursday launched a surveillance picture of a person wished within the assault on Alvarez, displaying him dressed all in black and pushing a purple procuring cart full of random objects.
Neighborhood residents and retailers mentioned its a symptom of the downfall of high quality of life within the neighborhood lately.
“No security,” mentioned Joe Ali, who owns the close by East Village New Deli. “It shouldn’t be good. Defunding the police and all this type of s–t results in this. It’s ridiculous.”
Ali added that the state of affairs is “getting worse and worse.”
“I anticipated from the administration to do a greater job, however they’re not doing it,” he advised The Post. “You can steal, you possibly can stab, you are able to do something, and the next day, you’re going to return out.”
Longtime native Lori Solomon known as the assault on Alvarez “completely horrifying.”
“I don’t even know what to say. I don’t know the place this individual’s humanity is,” she mentioned. “There isn’t any justification to do that to anyone, however a 90-year-old man?”
Ray’s Candy Store is a 24-hour shop that has been open since 1974 at 113 Avenue A.
The tiny candy store is an East Village landmark — with a loyal buyer base.
Last 12 months, patrons raised $50,000 to help pay overdue payments and maintain the shop peddling sweets when it was on the verge of shutting down.
Alvarez, a former Iranian sailor whose delivery title is Asghar Ghahraman, was paying $125 in lease when he first opened — however mentioned the month-to-month price ticket is as much as practically $6,200.
He advised The Post in November he additionally had payments piling up, together with an $18,000 tab from Con Edison — earlier than his clients got here to the rescue.
“Ray is an establishment, beloved by everyone within the neighborhood,” mentioned native resident Brad Keller. “It’s extra harmful to stroll the road at evening.”
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