A hard-working Manhattan bodega clerk has found himself behind bars in jail charged with murder after being forced to defend himself against a violent ex-con. His bail currently sits at $250,000, which he cannot post.
The 51-year-old New York City bodega worker Jose Alba is currently at the Rikers Island jail, which is notorious in the U.S. for being incredibly violent and having a high death rate.
Reports detail that the sizable bail is only a fraction of what Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office wanted. The confrontation resulted in the death of 35-year-old Austin Simon, who had been out on parole following his imprisonment for assaulting a police officer.
According to police, Simon entered the bodega to confront Alba after he supposedly grabbed a bag out of his girlfriend’s daughter’s hands when her EBT card declined.
Following the incident, the woman ran home, only to return with her boyfriend, which is when the confrontation began.
The New York Post reported that Alba was stabbed in the shoulder by the 32-year-old woman after she took a knife out of her purse, according to his defense attorney.
And while she is not facing charges for stabbing Alba, the bodega worker is facing second-degree murder charges for fatally stabbing Simon only AFTER they had violently assaulted him.
Alba’s family asserts that he was in fear for his life and acted in self-defense.
Watch the video below:
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
The New York Post reported:
A hard-working Manhattan bodega clerk who was forced to grab a knife to fend off a violent ex-con, now finds himself sitting behind bars at the notorious Rikers Island jail charged with murder and unable to post $250,000 bail.
The sky-high bail for Jose Alba — who has no known criminal history — was just half of what controversial Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office demanded, despite surveillance video showing the clerk being assaulted by his alleged victim in the bodega.
Alba, 51, was charged with the fatal stabbing of Austin Simon, 35, who can be seen storming behind the counter at the Hamilton Heights Grocery on Broadway and West 139th Street to attack the store worker Friday night.
“It was either him or the guy at the moment,” Alba’s daughter Yulissa told The Post Wednesday, saying it was a case of self-defense.
“He’s never hurt anybody. He’s never had an altercation where he had to defend himself. This is the first time for him.”
Often times, leftist prosecutors are suspicious of self-defense claims when the victim is a person they instinctively side with; in this case, Simon was black, poor, and in the criminal justice system. However, now Alba, who also is neither white nor well-off, is being thrust into the criminal justice system too.
The New York Post revealed that a GoFundMe page had been created to help raise funds to cover Alba’s bail money and legal fees however it was promptly taken down.