Manhattan DA Finally Drops Murder Charge Against Bodega Worker Who Stabbed Attacker

AP Photo/Craig Ruttle, File

Alvin Bragg, the George Soros-backed Manhattan district attorney, filed second-degree murder charges against Jose Alba, a 61-year-old bodega worker who fought off an attacker with a knife. Alba’s attacker was confronting him over the way the worker treated his girlfriend when her card was declined.


Not surprisingly, the charges did not sit well with almost everyone. New York’s Mayor Eric Adams, former top cop Bill Bratton, and the crusading New York Post all demanded that Alba be released and that Bragg drop all charges.

Alba got no break on bail from Bragg, unlike numerous violent criminals who received no bail for their infractions. A judge ordered Alba confined at Rikers Island unless he could come up with the $250,000 bail.

Realizing he had no case — something anyone could have seen from the beginning — Bragg reluctantly dropped the charges and released Alba.

Following an investigation, prosecutors concluded they couldn’t prove that Alba “was not justified in his use of deadly physical force,” the motion said. Surveillance footage of the attack showed Alba being attacked by Austin Simon, 35, and even telling the assailant, “Papa, I don’t want a problem.’’

The decision to dismiss the second-degree murder rap came after The Post began highlighting Alba’s plight, which saw the hardworking employee initially held at Rikers Island on a $250,000 bond, before the amount was lowered.

“If it weren’t for the New York Post, Mr. Alba would still be in jail,” said Frank Garcia, chairman of the National Association of Latino State Chambers of Commerce.


Bragg was making a statement, cheered on by the radical left across the city and country: Don’t make heroes of people who defend themselves. This is especially true when an assailant is a person of color. If Mr. Alba had been a white male, one wonders if there wouldn’t have been an outcry from every racialist group in the city, demanding that the bodega worker go to prison. There would have been accusations of racism — that the robber would still be alive if he were white.

Instead, Mr. Alba, a father with three children, will go free. But he came close to losing his freedom.

The DA’s Office acknowledged in the motion that Alba could have claimed self-defense at trial — an ­argument the bodega worker had ­repeatedly made since his arrest.

“One potential defense is that Alba reasonably believed that Simon was about to use
deadly physical force,” the memo noted. “The law provides that a person may use deadly physical force to defend oneself if the person reasonably believes that another person is using or about to use deadly physical force.”

It continued: “Simon’s conduct in entering the store’s small, private area, throwing Alba against the wall to a place he could not escape, and grabbing him by the collar could inspire deep fear in an older and shorter man as to what might be in store next.

“This was also in the context of the girlfriend saying five minutes earlier that her boyfriend was going to ‘come down here right now and f–k you up.’”


The girlfriend of the assailant says that Alba took a bag of chips from her 10-year-old child when her debit card was declined. She felt insulted and ran home to get her boyfriend who then confronted Alba — with deadly consequences.

Candra Simon, the assailant’s cousin, said her family was disappointed that there was no accountability for the fatal stabbing and concluded that “everyone involved in this situation was wrong.”

That may be. But using Mr. Alba as a pawn in Mr. Bragg’s racial games was wrong as well.


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