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Autistic Stop & Shop worker, 20, attacked on the job for a second time



A 20-year-old Stop & Shop worker with autism was violently attacked for the second time in just six months Thursday — prompting his family to slam perps with lengthy rap sheets doing “the same thing over and over again.”

The worker, who has not been named publicly, was roughed up by 62-year-old Alvin Martinez in the parking lot of the same Rockaway Park store where he was pummeled by a habitual criminal just six months earlier.

“[What happened] should shock all of us: every parent, anyone with a loved one,” the victim’s family told The Post. “And it’s always criminals with extensive history, a history with violence [doing] the same thing over and over again.”

The attack took place on Thursday evening in the Stop & Shop parking lot. Paul Martinka

Alvin Martinez, 62, was arrested at the scene.
Alvin Martinez, 62, was arrested at the scene. Obtained by NY Post

“This is how an innocent person — a vulnerable person — is treated,” they lamented.

Martinez — who was arrested at the scene and charged with second-degree robbery — has a rap sheet dating back to 1982, including priors for criminal possession of stolen property, criminal possession of controlled substance, petit larceny and grand larceny.

Before Thursday night, his most recent arrest was in 2006.

Last December, the same disabled store worker made headlines when he was beaten and punched by a shoplifter who had run out of the store and cornered him in the parking lot. A store butcher saw what was happening and intervened, saving the young man.

“This is just an innocent person, it’s the second time our son has been attacked — a hard-working 20-year-old with autism trying to make his way in the world,” the victim’s family told The Post.

The worker was putting away shopping carts when Martinez attacked, witness Thomas Willis told The Post.

“I looked away for a second, and as I turned around, he’s grabbing the kid, grabbing his headphones on his head, and he starts smacking around with his [own] hat,” Willis, who was in the parking lot campaigning for state Assembly candidate Tom Sullivan, recalled.

“He’s blocking the kid, shoving him, he won’t let him pass. He’s screaming and cursing at this kid,” he said of Martinez’s behavior.

The scuffle lasted around 40 seconds, until the young worker managed to get away. He retrieved his hat and headphones and reported the incident to his manager, Willis added.

“It’s very upsetting,” Willis said. “It wasn’t even sunset yet. If it can happen at Rockaway Beach in a parking lot in front of a couple of witnesses, it can really happen anywhere in the city.”

Joshua, a daytime “wagon boy” at the Stop & Shop, called the attack “unbelievable.”

“Why people gotta mess with [the victim]? He’s just trying to do his job,” he told The Post.

“I have an autistic son and I would be furious [if this happened to him],” another Stop & Shop worker chimed in.

Martinez even tried to put up a fight when cops arrived, Sullivan campaign volunteer Rosat Ramgopal told The Post.

“Once the authorities were there, [Martinez] decided to run for it, which is a stupid thing to do. Then the police chased him in the parking lot and got him,” Ramgopal said.

At one point, there were as many as 10 to 15 cops at the scene, Ramgopal said.

Before the attack, Martinez had been hanging around the parking lot for at least an hour, claiming that he could not unlock his car, Willis and Ramgopal recalled.

“He had this old car that looked like he was living out of it,” Ramgopal said.

“He was using screwdrivers, a broomstick and anything else you could find to try and nudge the car door open. He was pretty belligerent and crazy, talking about cage fighting people and beating people,” Willis noted.

Both men lamented the presence of habitual ne’er-do-wells making even familiar spots unsafe for vulnerable people.

“It’s very sad to see the state or our city and state at the moment,” Willis said.

“The guy was obviously not well, and I wouldn’t like him to be in a parking lot where families are just going about their business. It’s not a particularly safe environment,” Ramgopal agreed.

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