Jose Alba, a 51-year-old Dominican American worker in an NYC bodega, was charged with murder and imprisoned in New York’s infamous Rikers Island Jail after he fatally stabbed Austin Simon during an altercation in the aforementioned bodega. Video footage shows how Simon entered the store, cornered Alba, pushed him to a chair, and turned the altercation physically. In the middle of the altercation, Alba grabbed a knife and caused fatal wounds to Simon in the neck and chest.
Authorities arrested Alba and set his bail at $250,000 (a very high bail in a state that decided to lower its bail conditions back in 2019), and put him on Rikers Island to await either for his family to pay bail or for his trial to start. District Attorney for New York County Alvin Bragg argued for an even higher bail of $500,000, but the courts decided that it was excessive and settled for the $250,000 figure.
The details of the Jose Alba case
Alba came to the United States over thirty years ago and has never been incarcerated before. In remarks to the New York Post, Yulissa Alba, Jose’s daughter, said that her father has “never hurt anybody, he’s never had an altercation where he had to defend himself. This is the first time for him” and defended his actions as self-defense, saying that “it was either him or the guy at the moment.”
Alba’s family tried to help him by launching a GoFundMe campaign to collect enough funds to post his bail. However, the platform suddenly eliminated without any explanation the web entry after the family had already received $20,000 in contributions.
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According to the reports from both Alba’s lawyers and witnesses, the cause for the altercation began a few minutes before Simon entered the store when his girlfriend tried to buy a bag of chips for her daughter. Simon’s girlfriend’s credit card, however, was declined and Alba took out the bag of chips from the kid’s hand.
A few minutes afterward, Simon came furiously into the store, cornered Alba, and demanded Alba apologize to his girlfriend. The footage visibly shows that Simon pushed Alba to a chair and continued to menace him, as Alba rose up and tried to walk, the footage shows how Simon grabs him by the neck, and at that moment Alba grabs a knife that was used by the store employees to open boxes and stabbed Simon in the neck, both of them continued fighting but the wound proved to be fatal for Simon.
Alba’s attorneys also reported that Simon’s girlfriend took out a knife from her purse and attacked the bodega worker, however, she has not been charged by the DA’s office.
Alba’s case gathers sympathy from both conservatives and the mayor of NYC
Support for Alba has been growing over the last few hours, as conservative commentators and activists have risen their voices in support of the Dominican bodega worker, arguing that Alba acted in self-defense and should not be charged with second-degree murder. In remarks to El American, Representative Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY) said that “while the specifics are still being investigated, I saw the video and it appears Alba was acting in self-defense to protect himself and his store.”
Conservatives are not the only ones expressing sympathy for Alba, as the Democratic Mayor of New York Eric Adams also said he was sympathetic to the Bodega worker’s plight. During a press conference over a different issue, Adams said that “My heart goes out to the employee who was in the store doing his job (…) I am hoping we take all of that into consideration, as this hard-working New Yorker was doing his job, and someone aggressively went behind the counter to attack him.”
Adams, however, refused to comment on Bragg’s decision to charge Alva with second-degree murder, saying that “the DA has his job, I have my job as mayor of New York City,” that bringing up charges is up to the DA’s office and that he will “not second-guess the district attorney for his actions.”
Representative Malliotakis was far more critical with DA Bragg saying to El American that his “woke policies have sadly created a lawless environment where individuals think they can walk into someone’s business and steal things without consequences.” She added that New Yorkers have increasingly felt they must “take steps to protect themselves because the City won’t, which is a direct result of liberal officials who have repeatedly put criminals before the safety of law-abiding residents who are simply trying to make a living.”