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Charges Dropped Against NYC Bodega Worker Charged with Murder in Fatal Stabbing After Public Outcry

After fatally stabbing a man who attacked him behind the counter of the bodega deli, charges against Harlem bodega worker Jose Alba have been dropped. The Manhattan district attorney asked the judge to dismiss murder charges against Alba who said he was acting in self defense, the Daily News reported. According to surveillance footage, a man named Austin Simon went behind the counter inside the Blue Moon Bodega on July 1 and began to attack the 61-year-old Alba. Alba then stabbed Simon. The confrontation began after Alba pulled a snack out of Simon’s daughter’s hand because Simon’s girlfriend was unable to purchase it since her Electronic Benefit Transfer card was not working, Fox News reported. The girlfriend then shouted expletives at the Alba and said her boyfriend would be back to “f** you up.” A few moments later, Simon came into the store, went behind the counter, shoved Alba against a wall of shelving and grabbed him by the collar to lift him out of a chair and force him out of the employees-only area, prosecutors said. Simon allegedly said he wanted Alba to apologize to the girl. With Simon holding him by the collar and forcibly pushing him out, Alba grabbed a knife from a shelf beside the counter and stabbed Simon as they struggled, prosecutors said. Simon’s girlfriend also stabbed Alba in the arm during the fight, the Daily News reported. Court documents noted that Alba is 61 years old and five-feet-seven-inches tall, while Simon was 35 years old and six feet fall, Fox reported. Simon also had a box cutter visible in his right front shorts. He did not pull it out during the confrontation, according to the police account and store video surveillance. District Attorney Alvin Bragg faced very harsh criticism for charging Alba since the footage suggested that the stabbing was justified self-defense, the Daily News reported. “Following an investigation, the People have determined that we cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant was not justified in his use of deadly physical force. As such, the People will not be presenting the case to a Grand Jury and for the reasons provided in the attached memorandum, hereby move to dismiss the complaint,” Bragg wrote in court documents Fox News obtained. Now, with the charges dropped, this ends a nearly three-week ordeal for Alba, who had to spend five days on Rikers Island. During his time there, one of his stab wounds from the fight became infected, the Daily News reported. After the charges were brought against Alba, many spoke out in support of him. Even Mayor Eric Adams defended Alba’s actions, according to the Daily News, and said that he was “doing his job, and someone aggressively went behind the counter to attack him.” This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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