Jose Alba, Bodega Clerk Who Stabbed Austin Simon in Self Defense Gets Bail Lowered in an incident that took place last Friday, a Hamilton Heights Bodega worker, Jose Alba, was charged with second-degree murder for allegedly stabbing a man, Austin Simon to death after the man confronted and pushed him behind the counter.
The CCTV footage showcasing the incident has been released to the public and it clearly shows Alba protecting himself after a takedown from Simon. Several people have come in defense saying that the clerk was only doing his work and shouldn’t be charged with murder.
Now the jury has decided to lower the bail for Alba as the charge shifts to Self-Defense. Alba would be released under certain terms and conditions as the dilemma in the case continue.
Who is Jose Alba?
Jose Alba, 61, is an American citizen who works at a Bodega store. He’s the native of the Dominican Republic and came to the United States around 30 years ago and became a citizen 14 years ago. He’s a father of three and has been working at the Hamilton Heights grocery store for nearly three years.
On Friday, July 1, 2022, an unfortunate event ook place when a man named Austin Simon entered the store and pushed Alba behind the counter. The brawl erupted and Alba stabbed Simon multiple times which culminated into his death.
Although Alba stabbed Simon in self defense, the local police registered the case of second-degree murder and arrested Alba upon arrival. He was also charged for the illegal acquisition of weapon in the store.
Who was Austin Simon?
Austin Simon was 37-year old ex-con who is the victim in the case. He entered the grocery store on Friday and started attacking Alba after the initial confrontation. Simon also has a criminal record where he had prior arrests for robbery, assault, and other charges.
He had also served time in the state prison on a 2016 conviction for assaulting a police officer. Simon also had a 32-year old girlfriend who was with him when he entered the grocery store. She allegedly tried to save Simon by stabbing Alba in the hand and shoulder multiple times.
However, she couldn’t. Simon succumbed to the injuries sustained by the stabbing of the knife from Jose Alba. The police has registered the incident as a case of second-degree murder.
Jose Alba & Austin Simon Case: Murder or Self Defense?
On Friday, July 1, 2022, Austin Simon entered the Blue Moon Convenience Store on Broadway, near 139th Street.
After the initial interaction, he stored beind the counter and shove Alba into a wall. Soon, a fight broke out, and Alba grabbed a knife and stabbed Simon at least three times in an attempt to save himself.
Simon’s girlfriend also allegedly pulled out a knife from her purse and stabbed Alba in the hand and shoulder. Alba stayed there until the police arrived at the spot. However, the police charged him with second-degree murder and illegal possession of weapons.
The entire incident got captured by a CCTV camera and the footage has now been released for the public. The surveillance videos shows that the suspect was doing his job when the victim approached him inappropriately and started attacking.
Alba’s action of stabbing the victim visibly seem to be an attempt of self defense. It’s also revealed the incident was a result from a past event where Simon’s girlfriend was trying to buy a snack from the store with her daughter.
However, the card declined and Alba then took the snack back from the child. This made Simon outrageous and he entered the store in rage to punish the clerk.
Jose Alba Freed on Murder Rap as Bail Lowered in Self-Defense Case?
Alba’s son Jeffrey, the owner of the corner store, and a representative of a city bodega workers group came together to post the $5,000 need to spring him on a bail bond.
Previously, Alba was charged on a whopping $250,000 bail, and the prosecutors had request the half of that at his arraignment on Saturday. They claimed Alba was a flight risk because of a planned trip to the Dominican Republic next week.
During Thursday’s hearing, prosecutors stated they had negotiated a new bail package with Alba’s lawyer and asked Judge Jonathan Svetkey to reduce the amount to $50,000.
Under the new terms, Alba must wear an ankle bracelet, surrender his passport and is not allowed to leave the five boroughs. He’ll be fitted with a monitoring anklet bracelet by the sheriff’s department before being released.
Alba will be due to appear in front of a grand jury until July 20, 2022. It’s unknown if the murder charge is still on the table.
People including Mayor Eric Adams come defending Alba
Relatives, customers, and co-workers of the bodega clerk Jose Alba who’s charged with second-degree murder has come in support claiming that his actions were merely in self defense. Even Mayor Eric Adams has defended Alba’s actions as self-defense.
“It’s obvious this gentleman was here working, providing for his family, and someone came behind the counter and what I viewed was inappropriate,” Adams said in a statement.
“He grabbed him by the neck to drag him out. The first thing, you fear for your life so you’re gonna do whatever, so you’re gonna do whatever is possible to defend yourself,” said Francisco Marte of the Bodega and Small Business Association.
“He’s not used to this behavior. He’s not used to this type of aggression. At the moment he was in fear for his life,” said Alba’s son Jeffrey.
“There’s actually been ridiculous things happen. I’m just really sad he’s going through this. He’s just defending himself,” said Patricia Perez, a regular customer of the grocery store.
“That poor man does not deserve this. It was self-defense and I don’t care what anyone says. The cops need to do a deeper investigation because it’s not fair to him and his family. What if he was the one that lost his life,” said Christopher C., who works at a nearby store in Hamilton Heights.
The support of the masses is with Alba as the case continues. A GoFundMe page has also been set up to assist him in the legalities. What are your opinions on the case? Express your opinions in the comments below.