Bodega worker Jose Alba, 61, who fatally stabbed an ex-convict in self-defense while working, may reportedly leave New York City for good after he had his murder charge dropped.
The manager of the Blue Moon convenience store in Manhattan, where the altercation occurred, told the New York Post that Alba was planning on moving back to Santiago, where he originally is from in the Dominican Republic.
On July 1, while Alba was working, Austin Simon, 35, an ex-convict, came behind the counter and assaulted the bodega worker, slamming him into the wall and knocking him to the floor. Simon’s girlfriend had previously gotten into an argument with Alba after she could not pay for a bag of chips.
As Alba was being assaulted, he grabbed a knife and fatally stabbed Simon in self-defense.
61-year-old bodega worker Jose Alba was attacked by an enraged career criminal, Austin Simon, who went behind the counter and choked him over a bag of 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
Following the altercation, Alba was charged with second-degree murder and was sent to Rikers Island prison on a $250,000 bail.
Soros-backed Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg initially refused to drop the murder charge even after facing public criticism, including from Mayor Eric Adams (D), who said that Alba was acting in self-defense.
Alba was released from Rikers after Alba’s lawyer’s and prosecutors negotiated and asked the judge to lower the bail to $50,000.
Then on July 19, Bragg finally dropped Alba’s charges after his office could not prove that the bodega worker did not act in self-defense.
Alba has since left the Big Apple for upstate New York and is still processing the entire ordeal of events while also fearing for his safety in Manhattan.
“He is not going back to work at the bodega,” Francisco Marte, the head of a bodega association, told the Post. “He is taking a break fighting with his trauma, and he said he is afraid for his life.”
“We are getting him professional help, and then [Alba will] decide whether he goes back to the [Dominican Republic] for good or just spends 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.