Jose Alba, the 61-year-old deli worker who stabbed a man to death spoke out about the incident to WCBS-TV with the help of a family member who assisted with interpreting. Alba spoke through an apartment door and asked that his face not be shown until he was mentally and physically healed.
Alba said that he was very thankful for the support he’s received. The interpreter said, “He said I feel sad for what happened. He was put in a position where he couldn’t tell how it was gonna end. He was just defending his life.”
In the video of the interview, you can see many bruises and cuts on Alba’s body from the incident where he was attacked. The original video that was released showed Austin Simon shoving Alba onto a chair after he came into the store to confront Alba because his wife’s EBT card didn’t have enough funds. That’s clearly not Alba’s fault.
After the initial shove, the video shows Alba sitting in a chair while Simon yells at him. Alba then tried to get up and walk past Simon, but Simon grabbed Alba by the shirt collar and Alba grabbed a knife to defend himself. Simon was fatally stabbed in the altercation and Alba was arrested and charged with second degree murder and spent five days in Rikers Island before his bail was lowered by District Attorney Alvin Bragg.
A newly released video includes audio of Alba saying, “Papa, I don’t want a problem, papa” before the altercation took place.
Now the United Bodegas of America (UBA) have come together to support Alba and press Bragg to drop all charges in the case.
UBA spokesman Fernando Mateo said, “Our city is in crisis. And at this point, we are just fed up with people robbing, looting, attacking, assaulting, killing our small business owners.”
Mateo added, “The Alba family does not have the money for a defense attorney, and it’s a waste of taxpayer dollars to pursue murder charges against a hard-working man with no known criminal record. We are hopeful that DA Braggs will listen and understand UBA’s plea to drop all charges.”
Fransisco Marte, President of the Bodega and Small Business Group, put up his house to cover Alba’s bail and said that Alba “was a victim in this incident and should never have been charged.”
Marte also said, “[Alba] became a citizen of this country, and in all those years was never involved in a crime.”
After a meeting with bodega workers earlier this week, Bragg said that there was “absolutely” a chance that charges would be dropped against Alba.