Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg announced Monday his office would drop the murder charges against the bodega worker who fatally stabbed a man who attacked him.
Bragg’s office said it filed a motion to dismiss the case against 61-year-old Jose Alba, who fatally stabbed ex-con Austin Simon after Simon attacked him in a bodega on July 1, according to The New York Times (NYT).
Bragg’s office said “a homicide case against Alba could not be proven at trial beyond a reasonable doubt,” following an investigation into the incident, the NYT reported.
Simon’s cousin Sandra Simon said they are “clearly disappointed and can’t understand how it’s OK to take an unarmed man’s life.”
“This decision sets a dangerous precedent.”
Manhattan DA asks judge to dismiss murder charges against Harlem bodega worker Jose Alba for fatally stabbing man who attacked him behind counter of deli
Alba said he was acting in self-defense when he knifed Austin Simon inside Blue Moon bodega on July 1https://t.co/h5VTUbaiQQ
— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) July 19, 2022
The deadly incident unfolded when Simon approached Alba after Alba refused to let Simon’s girlfriend’s daughter have a bag of chips that they could not pay for. Video footage shows Simon walking around the counter and shoving Alba into shelves while screaming at Alba. Alba fell to the floor but got back up and pulled out a large knife, repeatedly stabbing Simon. (RELATED: GoFundMe For Suspected Minneapolis Gunman’s Family Raises Over $20,000)
Bragg’s original decision to charge Alba received widespread criticism, with Democratic Mayor Eric Adams saying he saw Alba as “a hardworking, innocent New Yorker,” according to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ).
Daily Caller co-founder and Fox News host Tucker Carlson lambasted Bragg’s initial decision to pursue charges.
“The message that Bragg sent was clear to everyone watching,” Carlson said. “And it was this: If the criminal who assaults you is a member of a favored group, you don’t have the right to fight back, you may not defend yourself. You must take whatever he gives you because thugs have more rights than you do.”