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Bodega clerk who defended himself from attacker will be moving back to Dominican Republic

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Bodega Shop assistant Jose Alba, 61, who was charged with homicide after fatally stabbing an assailant, plans to leave New York and move to the Dominican Republic.

Alba had an altercation with a female customer who couldn’t afford to pay for a bag of chips. Her boyfriend, Austin Simon, proceeded to climb over the counter and attack Alba, who ended up fatally stabbing Simon. During the incident, Alba was stabbed by Simon’s girlfriend, according to the Daily Mail.

The manager of The Blue Moon Convenience store where Alba used to work stated that “He doesn’t work here anymore. He’s getting ready to move out of the country.” The manager added that “He doesn’t come [to the store anymore], but we go visit him at home from time to time.”

The store manager declined to identify himself but did confirm that Alba plans to move to Santiago, Dominican Republic, where he is originally from.

At the time of Alba’s arrest, he was taken to Riker’s Island prison and held on $250,000 bail, which he was unable to afford. Alba’s daughter said he had no criminal record, and this was a clear case of self-defense.

“It was either him or the guy at the moment,” Alba’s daughter Yulissa told the New York Post. Yulisa went onto say “He’s never hurt anybody. He’s never had an altercation where he had to defend himself. This is the first time for him.”

Prosecutors eventually agreed to lower the bail, which allowed Alba to be released from Riker’s Island, however even after his release, he struggled to find work.

The Bodega Association, a company who assist workers in the area, confirmed that Alba did not work whilst on bail: “He’s taking a break now; he went upstate to get away from it all. He is not going back to work at the bodega. He is taking a break fighting with his trauma, and he said he is afraid for his life.”

They added, “He is trying to get back to normal, but he said it’s very hard when you have flashbacks of what happened. We are getting him professional help, and then [Alba and his family] decide whether he goes back to the DR for good or just spends some time there.”

Lee Zeldin (R-NY) cited the current state of New York as Alba’s decision to leave. “It’s such a shame that a law-abiding, hardworking New Yorker like Jose Alba finds life safer and freer in the Dominican Republic than in Kathy Hochul and Alvin Bragg’s New York,” Zeldin said.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg finally agreed to drop the charges against Alba on July 19th, accepting that there wasn’t enough evidence to prove beyond any reasonable doubt that Alba’s action “was not justified in his use of deadly physical force,” the motion read.

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