NEW YORK - A New York City bodega worker faces a second-degree murder charge after allegedly stabbing a man who shoved him during a dispute inside the Hamilton Heights store.
Jose Alba, 51, was back home after being held at Rikers Island on $250,000 bail from the July 1 incident. On Thursday, a judge reduced bail to $50,000. His family with the help of a bodega workers' group posted $5,000 bond.
The Post says Austin Simon, 34, went into the store to confront Alba after his girlfriend was denied a bag of chips for her daughter after her credit card was declined at the Bluemoon Convenient Store.
Alba allegedly had snatched the chips back from the girl. The woman told Simon, who then went to the store, walked behind the counter, and pushed Alba.
A criminal complaint obtained by Fox News Digital stated that when Simon attempted to "steer" Alba out from behind the counter area, the worker "picked up a kitchen knife that was stashed behind the counter and stabbed Mr. Simon in the neck and chest at least five times."
Simon’s girlfriend then allegedly pulled a knife from her purse and stabbed Alba in the arm.
Simon died at a nearby hospital a short time later.
Mayor Eric Adams said, "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. 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."
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg had asked for $500,000 bail in the case.
"So, the DA has his job. I have my job as the mayor of the City of New York. And as the mayor of the City of New York, I support hard-working innocent people that are doing their job," Adams said. "And I saw him as a hard-working, innocent New Yorker that a person went behind the counter and attacked him."
Alba could face up to 25 years in prison if convicted on the murder charge.