The Manhattan bodega clerk, who was charged with murder for fatally stabbing an assailant, was with the crime-ridden Big Apple and is leaving America, at least for now, friends told The Post on Friday. told.
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“He doesn’t work here anymore. He’s getting ready to move out of the country,” said 61-year-old Jose Alba, the manager of the Blue Moon convenience store where he was severely stabbed on July 1.
The store manager, who declined to be identified, said Alba was on his way to Santiago, a city in the Dominican Republic where the former worker is originally from.
“he doesn’t come” [to the store anymore]But we visit his house from time to time,” said the manager.
Francisco Marte, head of a bodega association, said Alba is still trying to process what happened to him, including accusing him of murder in self-defense and then dropping the rap amid widespread outrage.
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“He’s taking a hiatus right now,” Marte said. “He went upstairs to get away from everything” before going to the DR.
“He’s not going back to work at the bodega. He’s taking a break while fighting his trauma, and he says he fears for his life,” Marte said.
“He’s trying to be normal, but he said it’s so hard when you have flashbacks. We’re getting him professional help, and then [Alba and his family] Decide if he goes back to the DR for good or just spends some time there. ,
On July 1, Alba was working behind the counter in a Hamilton Heights bodega when he got into an argument with a woman after she couldn’t pay for a bag of chips.
The woman then sent her boyfriend, 35-year-old Austin Simon, who came behind the counter and attacked Alba, causing the worker to grab a knife and stab the man to death.
Alba called the police, and when they arrived, they arrested him on charges of second-degree murder, sparking a wave of protests from supporters, including Mayor Eric Adams and former NYPD commissioner Bill Bratton, who said that The stabbing was done in self-defense.
Alba was locked up on Rikers Island, but was soon freed when prosecutors agreed to reduce her $250,000 bail.
Still, while out on bail, Alba could not return to work at Bodega because her manager was concerned that her life was in danger and that Simon’s family might try to target her at the store, they said in July.
On July 19, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg finally agreed to drop the charges against Alba, believing there was insufficient evidence to prove the worker was “not justified in the use of deadly physical force.” , his office wrote in a motion.
Following the decision, Alba told reporters that he felt “so” and soon ran upstairs to get away from the meditation and clear his head, Marte said.
When asked about Alba’s physical recovery from being stabbed during the scuffle, Marte said the man’s wounds “are coming through well.
“They are not fully recovered,” Marte said. “The mark will last a lifetime. It will be a reminder of what happened and the tragedy he went through.”