Bodega worker Jose Alba, 61, who fatally stabbed an ex-con in self-defense while on the job, could reportedly leave New York City for good after his murder charges were dropped.
The manager of the Blue Moon supermarket in Manhattan, where the altercation took place, told the New York Post that Alba intended to return to Santiago, where he is originally from in the Dominican Republic.
On July 1, while Alba was at work, Austin Simon, 35, an ex-con, came behind the counter and assaulted the bodega worker, slamming him against the wall and knocking him to the ground. Simon’s girlfriend had previously argued with Alba after she couldn’t afford a bag of chips.
While Alba was being attacked, he grabbed a knife and fatally stabbed Simon in self-defense.
61-year-old bodega employee Jose Alba was attacked by an irate career criminal, Austin Simon, who went behind the counter and choked him on a bag of potato chips. Alba defended himself and Simon died. DA Alvin Bragg has charged him with murder. pic.twitter.com/FIfL1O1q7X
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) July 7, 2022
After the altercation, Alba was charged with second-degree murder and was sent to Rikers Island Prison on a $250,000 bail.
Manhattan’s Soros-backed district attorney Alvin Bragg initially refused to drop the murder charges, even after public criticism, including from Mayor Eric Adams (D), who said Alba acted in self-defense.
Alba was released from Rikers after Alba’s attorney and prosecutors negotiated and asked the judge to lower the bail to $50,000.
On July 19, Bragg finally dropped Alba’s charges after his office failed to prove that the bodega employee was not acting in self-defense.
Alba has since left the Big Apple for New York State and is still processing the whole ordeal of events while also fearing for his safety in Manhattan.
“He’s not going back to work at the bodega,” said Francisco Marte, the head of a bodega association. After. “He’s taking a break to fight his trauma, and he said he’s afraid for his life.”
“We get him professional help, and then [Alba will] decide whether to go back to the [Dominican Republic] forever or just spend some time there,” Marte added.
Marte noted that Alba is still recovering from his injuries from the altercation.
You can follow Ethan Letkeman on Twitter at @EthanLetkeman.