New York City prosecutor Alvin Bragg has charged a Bodega worker with murder after he defended himself during a brutal attack in his store.
Jose Alba was at work when a woman tried to pay for a bag of chips, but the money had run out on her EBT card. When she realized Alba was not going to give her the snack, she knocked over items on the counter and went home to relay the story to her boyfriend Austin Simon.
Simon, 35, returned to the store ten minutes later. Surveillance video shows him brutally assaulting Alba, who is 61 years old.
During the scuffle, Alba produced a knife and stabbed Simon in the neck and torso. Simon later died of his injuries.
Alba was arrested and held in custody for $250,000, half of what Bragg was asking for. He was transported to the infamous Rykers island prison.
Family members set up a fundraising page on GoFundMe to assist in raising money for his bond and legal defense. Incredibly, GoFundMe shut the page down, saying it violated their terms of service.
A judge has subsequently reduced the bail to $50,000, and Alba’s family was able to raise the money necessary to have him released.
Even the Mayor of New York defended Alba. In a statement, Mayor Adams defended the Bodega owner’s actions.
Public sentiment is growing in support of Alba as most observers cite the case as a strong example of self-defense.
Alba’s 27-year-old son Jeffery has told news outlets that his father intends to fight the case.
One issue that may help Alba is that Simon has a long criminal history. He had a 2016 conviction for assaulting a police officer and spent time in state prison.