NYC bodega worker, 62, jailed for defending self, returns home amid public outcry

Following public outcry, including from the city’s mayor, on Thursday local prosecutors lowered the bond for a New York City bodega worker who’d been arrested and charged with second-degree murder for stabbing a customer who’d attacked him.

The bodega worker, 61-year-old father of three Jose Alba, subsequently posted bail and was released on house arrest, though the murder charge still remains.

As previously reported, Alba was originally tossed into Rikers Island on a $250,000 bond, which was reportedly only half of what prosecutors with Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office had requested.

The prosecutors had claimed he “was a flight risk because of a planned trip to the Dominican Republic next week.”

Public outcry, including from NYC Mayor Eric Adams, apparently convinced them otherwise.

Under the terms of Alba’s release, he must wear an ankle bracelet, relinquish his passport, and not leave the five boroughs of NYC, according to the New York Post.

Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Sigall reportedly said that these stipulations “will ensure the fact that the defendant will not go to the DR as he planned to.”

But as noted earlier, the murder charge remains. It stems from what happened around 11:00 pm on Friday, July 1st when the girlfriend of longtime criminal Austin Simon entered the Bluemoon Convenient Store in Harlem where Alba works.

“The girlfriend, who has not been publicly named, wanted to buy a bag of chips for her daughter but she didn’t have enough money to pay for them, said police. At that point, she allegedly ran out of the store to get her boyfriend,” according to The Independent.

Simon then reportedly ran inside and violently shoved Alba, causing him to fall back into a chair, and then proceeded to hassle him.

Apparently fed up with not getting what he wanted, Simon eventually grabbed Alba by his shirt and pulled him out of the chair.

Alba could then be seen in surveillance footage grabbing something from the hand of the bodega cashier and then using it to stab Simon in what appeared to be an act of self-defense.

Watch (*Graphic content):

Alba’s many supporters, including Mayor Adams, say he did nothing wrong.

“My heart goes out for this hard-working, honest New Yorker that was doing his job in his place of business, where a person came in and went behind the counter and attacked him,” the mayor said at a press conference Thursday.

“As I saw it from the video, I saw a worker here, inside the store, following the law, and he should not have not been approached in the manner that he was approached, and I think it’s time for New Yorkers and Americans to start standing up for people who follow the law, and that’s what I’m going to do.”

But thanks to the murder change, Alba faces up to 25 years in prison. This, a growing number of critics say, is unacceptable, especially given Simon’s criminal history.

“Simon was on parole for attacking a police officer at the time of the incident on Friday night. State records show he spent time in both Elmira and Five Points, two New York corrections facilities,” according to the Daily Mail.

Included among the critics is Fox News’ Tucker Carlson.

Speaking on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight” late Thursday, he argued that a “healthy society” would celebrate, not demonize, men like Alba.

“A healthy society celebrates, venerates men like Jose Alba, men with jobs and families, men with independence and dignity and above all, a healthy society affirms the right of men like this to self-defense. Self-defense is the cornerstone of all liberty. If you can’t defend your own life and property, you have no rights at all. That was obvious in America for centuries,” he said.

“This was a country whose leaders encouraged decent behavior, who held up the common man as a hero, but that has changed. Jose Alba wasn’t lauded for his bravery or his resourcefulness. He wasn’t congratulated for defending himself in the face of a violent felon much younger than him. Though every single normal person who watched that video on social media applauded, every single one, and yet Alba was arrested at the scene and he was sent to jail.”

Listen:

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Vivek Saxena

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