Photo by Stacie Joy
Luis Peroza, arrested and charged for the late-night assault of Ray Alvarez outside Ray's Candy Store on Avenue A on Jan. 31, 2023, has been sentenced to 10 years in prison this afternoon, Manhattan D.A. Alvin L. Bragg, Jr. announced.
Peroza, 40, was also charged with two other attacks in the East Village on that night. This past Dec. 14, Peroza pleaded guilty in a New York State Supreme Court to three counts of Assault in the First Degree.
Here's more from Bragg's office:
According to court documents and statements made on the record, on January 31, 2023, at approximately 3 a.m., Peroza approached the 90-year-old owner of Ray's Candy Store, who was standing outside of the store on Avenue A. Peroza asked if the owner would purchase canned drinks from him, but the owner declined. As admitted in the defendant's guilty plea, Peroza then struck him in the head with a hard object, breaking his jaw, fracturing his facial bones and giving him a black eye.Approximately half an hour later, Peroza demanded money from a 33-year-old man as he left a deli on Avenue C. The man said he did not have money and, as admitted in his guilty plea, Peroza struck him in the face with a hard object, breaking his orbital bone and causing a severe laceration to his face.Several hours later, Peroza approached a 51-year-old man on Avenue B and, as admitted in his guilty plea, repeatedly struck the man in the head with a hard object, lacerating his face and head, knocking out a tooth, and fracturing his facial bones.
Following his arrest on Feb. 4, 2023, Peroza was described as "a career criminal," with 10 prior arrests dating to 2001 for robberies, assaults, criminal mischief and petit larceny, according to The Daily Mail.
The Daily News reported that Peroza served five years in prison after he was convicted of an assault in the Bronx in 2003. A source told the News that the suspect is "next-level crazy."
Police also arrested Peroza's alleged accomplice, 55-year-old Gerald Barth. As previously reported, Barth's erratic behavior earned him the nickname "Insanity Claus" in Tompkins Square Park after he donned a discarded SantaCon suit. He was charged with first-degree assault and two counts each of first-degree robbery and first-degree attempted robbery.
According to the DA's office, Barth was found unfit to stand trial. Last August, Barth was transferred from the Department of Corrections to the custody of the New York State Office of Mental Health. His case will move forward if/when he is found fit, per the DA's office.
With reporting by Stacie Joy
Previously on EV Grieve: