New video shows NYC bodega worker trying to calm customer he later fatally stabbed ‘in self-defense’


New video footage reveals that a New York City bodega worker charged with murder tried to calm an angry customer who he ended up stabbing to death in self-defense when the man came behind the counter and attacked him. 

Jose Alba, 61, was freed from jail last week when his bail was lowered following a public outcry over his murder charges and about whether he was trying to defend himself. 

Alba is charged with second-degree murder after fatally stabbing 37-year-old career criminal, Austin Simon. 

Video obtained by the New York Post reveals the bodega worker was trying to avoid confrontation with Simon in the minutes leading up to the July 1 stabbing. 

‘Papa, I don’t want a problem, papa,’ Alba calmly tells Simon as the man angrily storms into the Hamilton Heights bodega and walks around the counter to confront the clerk. 

Video footage reveals the bodega worker Jose Alba was trying to avoid confrontation with Austin Simon in the minutes leading up to the July 1 stabbing

Simon charged into the Blue Moon convenience store minutes after his girlfriend tried to buy a bag of chips for her daughter but her benefits card was declined

Simon charged into the Blue Moon convenience store minutes after his girlfriend tried to buy a bag of chips for her daughter but her benefits card was declined

Simon charged into the Blue Moon convenience store minutes after his girlfriend tried to buy a bag of chips for her daughter but her benefits card was declined. 

The woman, who claimed Alba snatched the bag of chips from the child, is heard on the video asking Alba, ‘Did you put food?’ 

Alba responds that he’ll try her card another time.  

‘OK, mama, let me do it another time. My God,’ he says to her as she insists, ‘There’s money on there.’ 

But he scans the card multiple times and hands it back to her telling her it’s not working. 

The edited footage cuts to show other customers in the bodega as the woman is heard yelling out of view from the camera. 

 ‘You can’t touch my daughter. Don’t snatch that out of my daughter, you f–king piece of shit!’

Alba tried to calm Simon down as he angrily storms in after Alba refused to sell his girlfriend chips when her card declined

Alba tried to calm Simon down as he angrily storms in after Alba refused to sell his girlfriend chips when her card declined

Alba holds his arm out as Simon approaches him behind at the counter at the bodega

Alba holds his arm out as Simon approaches him behind at the counter at the bodega 

The woman had reported that Alba snatched the bag of chips from her daughter’s hands when they couldn’t pay. 

She continues, ‘I’m gonna bring my n– down here and he gonna f–k you up. My n— is gonna come down here right now and f–k you up!’

Alba tells her that it’s not his fault and that the card was not working. 

Another woman asked, ‘Did they take something from you?’  

Alba replied, ‘No, I take it back.’

Simon can then be seen on the video storming into the store and walking behind the counter where he confronts Alba.  

‘What’s up with you? N—r what is wrong with you?’ he yells at him.

The video is edited and cuts to Simon already having been stabbed.  

In previous footage that was released, the fight between the two men breaks out when Simon goes behind the counter and is seen pushing Alba into a chair. 

Alba grabbed the store’s box cutting knife to stab him in the neck and chest. Simon later died in the hospital.

In the new video footage, it cuts to show bloody Simon splayed out on the bodega floor. His girlfriend is heard yelling, ‘That was over $3. Three f–king dollars. He snatched something out of my daughter…please help him.’

Alba was released from Rikers Island on Thursday evening after his bail was lowered from $250,000 to $50,000, and returned to his Hamilton Heights home wearing an electronic monitor and accompanied by one of his sons. He was only required to pay $5,000. 

Jose Alba, 62, was released from Rikers Island on Thursday evening and returned to his home accompanied by one of his sons after his bail was lowered from $250,000 to $50,000

Jose Alba, 62, was released from Rikers Island on Thursday evening and returned to his home accompanied by one of his sons after his bail was lowered from $250,000 to $50,000

Alba was arrested last week for stabbing Austin Simon, 35, who charged into the Harlem bodega where he worked and attacked him. Alba's bond was lowered after public outrage

Alba was arrested last week for stabbing Austin Simon, 35, who charged into the Harlem bodega where he worked and attacked him. Alba’s bond was lowered after public outrage

Osamah Aldhabyani, 35, who owns the bodega told The Post that he was haunted by what happened and worried about possible retaliation from Simon’s friends after, he claims that he saw two of them in a car outside the store.

‘I’m scared for my life,’ he said.

Alba’s fellow bodega workers said they will not let him return to work because they fear the victim’s friends will come to harm him. 

‘We’re not letting him come back,’ a Blue Moon Convenience store worker named Wilson told the New York Post. 

Wilson said his victim’s ‘friends and family’ now know where Alba works and his coworkers fear it’s a ‘death sentence’ if he returns to his post. 

Alba, who is beloved in the local community, has worked at the bodega in Harlem for decades and has no criminal record. He arrived home Thursday wearing an ankle monitor

Alba, who is beloved in the local community, has worked at the bodega in Harlem for decades and has no criminal record. He arrived home Thursday wearing an ankle monitor 

Wilson said he is now scared that he could face a similar situation to Alba if he were forced to protect himself. 

‘Why is [Alba] getting charged? He was working. Now that makes workers even more scared. This could happen to me. We out here working. We feel scared. We have to protect ourselves,’ he told the New York Post. 

‘He wasn’t looking for trouble, he was working. What is he supposed to do? That guy could have done anything…[Alba] is an old man. It’s not fair.’   

Wilson also expressed fear over the growing gun problem in New York City, saying he didn’t know ‘who has a gun’ in the neighborhood. He also said that all the workers are trying to do is ‘make money and serve the community,’ not deal with violence. 

‘They should consider self-defense,’ another employee Escoo told the Post. ‘We are risking our lives serving the community.’ 

Alba was thrown in jail and held on a $250,000 bond after prosecutors from Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg’s office asked for double that, despite letting other career criminals loose.

Following a resounding outrage over the decision, a Manhattan judge finally lowered Alba’s bond today and he was released to his home. 

This was the altercation that led to Jose Alba's arrest last Friday. Alba, 62, is shown in a blue striped shirt and hat. Austin Simon, right, arrived in the store to confront Alba who had refused to give his girlfriend a bag of potato chips

This was the altercation that led to Jose Alba’s arrest last Friday. Alba, 62, is shown in a blue striped shirt and hat. Austin Simon, right, arrived in the store to confront Alba who had refused to give his girlfriend a bag of potato chips

Earlier Thursday, NYC Mayor Eric Adams visited the bodega to express his support for Alba. 

‘I’m a person that’s there for people following the law. I saw from the video, I saw a voter here inside the store following the law…It’s time for New Yorkers and Americans to start standing up for people who follow the law,’ he said.

At a hearing on Thursday, prosecutors from Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg’s office moved to lower Alba’s bond from $250,000 to $50,000. He was only required to post $5,000 – 10 percent – which was paid by his family and boss. 

Alba is barred from leaving New York City and had to surrender his passport, which means he will not be able to go on a previously planned trip to the Dominican Republic.

But Alba’s release is a small victory for the 62-year-old who many say should never have been arrested in the first place.

Alba, who is beloved in the local community, has worked there for decades and has no criminal record.

The attack at the bodega happened when Simon’s girlfriend’s card was declined trying to buy a bag of chips. Her debit card was declined and Alba refused to give her the chips.

She then produced a knife from her purse and, according to Alba’s family, attacked him before calling for her boyfriend for back-up.

Surveillance footage shows Simon charging into the store in a $350 dollar Amiri shirt, standing over Alba and then fighting with him.

Alba grabbed the store’s box cutting knife to stab him in the neck and chest. Simon later died in the hospital.

Initially, Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg’s office asked for a $500,000 bond – which the judge last week said was too high- $250,000 was then decided upon – which the family couldn’t afford.

They set up a GoFundMe page to help raise bail and pay for his legal team but GoFundMe removed the account after it raised $20,000.

A GoFundMe spokesperson told DailyMail.com: ‘Our terms of service prohibit fundraising for the legal defense of a violent crime.

‘At this time, the fundraiser has been removed and all donors have been refunded.’

Alba was sitting down in the tiny store when the man cornered him and demanded that he apologize to his girlfriend, who police say couldn't afford a bag of chips

Alba was sitting down in the tiny store when the man cornered him and demanded that he apologize to his girlfriend, who police say couldn’t afford a bag of chips

The convenience store where the incident occurred on July 1

The convenience store where the incident occurred on July 1 

On Thursday, Bragg’s office said it reached a deal with the man’s family on the terms of his bail which include him surrendering his passport and wearing an electronic ankle monitor.

The owner of the convenience store where the incident took place has also agreed to be an obligor for him, the DA’s office said.

Alba – who is from the Dominican Republic and became a US citizen 14 years ago – was thrown in Rikers. 

Among those who slammed Bragg for the decision to charge him on Thursday was Republican Gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin.

‘My first Day 1 action as Governor next January will be to fire Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg,’ he said.

Yesterday, a store worker who did not want to be named told DailyMail.com: ”The girlfriend is still out there enjoying her life.’ 

The man's family set up a GoFundMe to help him pay for his legal defense but it was removed overnight after raising $20,000

The man’s family set up a GoFundMe to help him pay for his legal defense but it was removed overnight after raising $20,000

The page no longer exists on GoFundMe. The fundraising site has not yet explained why

The page no longer exists on GoFundMe. The fundraising site has not yet explained why 

Regulars at the shop described Alba as a hard-working father who was preparing for retirement, and was looking forward to returning to the Dominican Republic next week to visit his family.

He worked at the store every day of the week from noon to 6am, they told DailyMail.com, to ‘make an honest living.’

But during his more than two years working at the store, several patrons have tried to take advantage of him, grabbing items and trying to walk away with them.

One man even once held up a gun to him, they said.

So when Simon entered the store and starting threatening him last week, he did not know whether he had a gun and could kill him.

‘He never wanted no problem,’ said Ahmad’s son, who was working the counter on Wednesday.

‘I picture him as my grandfather being in that situation.’

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk