Charges dismissed against worker in deadly Upper Manhattan bodega stabbing

ByEyewitness News via WABC logo
Tuesday, July 19, 2022
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The Manhattan District Attorney's Office dismissed the murder charge against bodega worker Jose Alba in the fatal stabbing of a 35-year-old man.

HAMILTON HEIGHTS, Manhattan (WABC) -- The Manhattan District Attorney's Office on Tuesday dismissed the murder charge against bodega worker Jose Alba in the fatal stabbing of a 35-year-old man.

Police arrested the 61-year-old bodega worker following a deadly stabbing at the store earlier this month.

The confrontation happened inside the business located on the corner of Broadway and West 139th Street in the Hamilton Heights neighborhood of Manhattan.

Alba was working behind the counter when he got into a dispute with a customer when her card was declined.

Moments later, Alba was attacked by 35-year-old Austin Simon, the woman's boyfriend. Fearing for his life, Alba grabbed a knife and stabbed Simon to death.

When officers arrived, they found the 35-year-old man who had been stabbed in the chest and neck.

EMS transported the man to Harlem Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Simon was known to the bodega employees and had caused issues before, according to sources.

Police said they recovered a knife at the scene.

Alba suffered superficial stab wounds when Simon's girlfriend allegedly tried to fight back. He showed his wounded arm to reporters gathered outside his apartment Tuesday afternoon.

Alba was charged with murder, and the case gained national attention after surveillance video of the incident was released.

"They did a thorough investigation, and they made a determination, of my understanding, the charges were dropped," Mayor Eric Adams said. "This happens sometimes in cases. The preliminary arrest, after review, decisions are made. And so I think, in this case, we had an innocent, hardworking New Yorker that was doing his job, and someone was extremely aggressive towards him. And I believe, after the DA's review, the DA, in my opinion, made the right decision."

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