Bodega worker Jose Alba reportedly flees NYC after stabbing attacker: ‘He’s afraid for his life’

The New York City bodega worker who was arrested and temporarily charged with second-degree murder for stabbing a customer who’d attacked him has reportedly left NYC and is reportedly so disillusioned over what happened that he’s considering permanently relocating back to the Dominican Republic.

“He doesn’t work here anymore. He’s getting ready to move out of the country,” the manager of the Blue Moon Convenient Store where the stabbing incident occurred last month told the New York Post last week, adding that he’s specifically eyeing his hometown of Santiago.

Why, though, this sudden desire to relocate? He appears to be suffering from PTSD.

“Alba is still trying to process what happened to him, including being charged with murder in the self-defense slaying and then finally having the rap dropped amid widespread outcry,” according to the Post.

“He is taking a hiatus right now. He went upstate to get away from everything. 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,” Francisco Marte, the head of a bodega association that’s been helping Alba, told the Post.

“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.”

As previously reported, Alba was working at the Blue Moon store on Friday, July 1st, when the girlfriend of longtime criminal Austin Simon entered the store.

“The girlfriend, who has not been publicly named, wanted to buy a bag of chips for her daughter but she didn’t have enough money to pay for them, said police. At that point, she allegedly ran out of the store to get her boyfriend,” according to The Independent.

Simon then reportedly ran inside and violently shoved Alba, causing him to fall back into a chair, and then proceeded to hassle him. Apparently fed up with not getting what he wanted, Simon eventually grabbed Alba by his shirt and pulled him out of the chair.

Alba could then be seen in surveillance footage grabbing something from the hand of the bodega cashier and then using it to stab Simon in what appeared to be an act of self-defense.

Watch (*Graphic content):

The stabbing ultimately killed Simon, prompting NYC’s left-wing prosecutors to throw Alba in Rikers Island and charge him with second-degree murder.

This move spurred intense, widespread backlash, including even from NYC Mayor Eric Adams.

“My heart goes out for that hard-working, honest New Yorker that was doing his job in his place of business, where a person came in and went behind a counter and attacked him. My heart goes out to that employee who was in the store, doing his job,” the mayor said during a July 7th press conference.

He added that he was hopeful the prosecutors would take the full circumstances of the incident into consideration.

“And so I am hoping that we take all of that into consideration, as this hard working New Yorker was doing his job and someone aggressively went behind the counter to attack him. So the DA has his job. I have my job as the mayor of the City of New York,” he said.

“And as the mayor of the City of New York, I support hard working innocent people that are doing their job. And I saw him as a hard working, innocent New Yorker that a person went behind the counter and attacked him.”

The backlash eventually worked and the charges were dropped. However, similar cases have already begun to pop up throughout NYC.

For instance, a 54-year-old Bronx bodega worker was charged with murder after he stabbed a homeless man who’d attacked his boss on the street. But there are some fundamental differences between the cases.

On Saturday, July 30th, a homeless man, Kenneth Fair, complained that the elderly store manager of the Magic 7 Smoke Shop had bumped into him. An argument broke out and Fair wound up taking a swing at the manager.

That’s when Vernon Gowdy, a longtime criminal who was working at the smoke shop at the time of the incident, “went behind Fair, put him in a chokehold and stabbed him in the right upper chest,” according to the New York Daily News.

He’s since been arrested and charged with murder, manslaughter and criminal possession of a weapon, yet his arrest hasn’t provoked the same response as Alba’s arrest, in part because there’s no video of the altercation, and also because of the suspect’s criminal history.

Though to hear Gowdy’s defense lawyer tell it, there’s little difference between him and Alba.

“The deceased attacked his boss and he wanted to protect him. He thought he was going to kill his boss… His only concern was to protect his boss,” the lawyer reportedly said in court.

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Vivek Saxena

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