No charges for bodega worker after fatal stabbing in Queens, organization says

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Wednesday, May 8, 2024
No charges for bodega worker after Queens fatal stabbing, group says
Lindsay Tuchman has the latest details on a fatal stabbing at a Queens bodega.

REGO PARK, Queens (WABC) -- The Queens district attorney will apparently not charge the bodega worker accused of fatally stabbing a 21-year-old man, according to one organization.

The United Bodega Workers of America said they learned Melinda Katz will not prosecute Netesh Netesh after he allegedly stabbed a man in the chest.

The UBA called the man a "lone robber" and said that Netesh Netesh had stabbed the man in self-defense. It was first reported that the stabbing happened after a dispute over beer.

"UBA and it's 14k member Bodegas are grateful that DA Melinda Katz will NOT be prosecuting Netesh Netesh the Bodega clerk who stabbed and killed a lone robber in self-defense early this morning on Queens Blvd. We can appreciate the common sense DA Katz has shown throughout her career as an elected official. Finally, we see victims treated as victims and not criminals," said UBA spokesman Fernando Mateo.

Officials say chaos broke out at around 12:30 a.m. Tuesday at the Mini Mart store on Queens Boulevard. Police say the 21-year-old tried to take a beer without paying for it.

When Netesh tried to stop him, an argument ensued and spilled onto the street, resulting in the worker stabbing and killing the man.

"We are sorry a life was lost during what we believe was a robbery of a beer. Netesh is a good kid with no criminal record and working very hard like most Bodega clerks defending his business from looters, it could have been my son who is 21 and works as a clerk in my bodega," said UBA President Radahmes Rodriguez.

Mateo said he is certain that Natesh did not intend to kill the man over a beer and he was acting in self-defense.

"We are certain Netesh did not intend to kill this man over a beer. Self-defense is most likely what took place. Bodegas workers get attacked/assaulted when they try and reclaim stolen property from their bodegas. DA Melinda Katz is a very reasonable DA, she clearly understands these situations and we hope she gets this one right," Mateo said.

"It's unfortunate that someone had to die," he said. "It was evident and today we are pleased to say that bodega owners can rest assured that they will not be victimized twice."

Mateo also said that he believes Natesh is in shock. He said he's reached out three times to him and has yet to hear back.

The Queens District Attorney's Office said the investigation is ongoing and they have no comment.

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