Bodega worker freed on bail for fatal fight recovering after stab wounds became infected behind bars

·2 min read

The Harlem bodega worker charged with murder after stabbing a man who jumped him behind the store counter was recovering at home after his wounds became infected behind bars.

Jose Alba, 51, was stabbed twice in each arm, allegedly by the dead man’s girlfriend, following the lethal July 1 confrontation inside the Blue Moon bodega, said Francisco Marte, president of the Bodega and Small Business Group Association.

“He’s feeling better now that he’s home,” said Marte. “He’s weak because he got injuries and he couldn’t recover because (in jail) they didn’t take care of that. It was infected. He was cleaning with hot water only, that was the only thing he had there.”

Marte showed a photo of Alba with a gaping wound on his left bicep from the attack caught on video after an irate Austin Simon began shoving him around. Alba grabbed a knife from under the counter and fatally stabbed Simon, 34.

“He a weak man, not a tough guy,” Marte said of Alba. “He was lucky ... If he was not, it would have been the other way around.”

Alba was arraigned last weekend for second-degree murder and held on Rikers Island until Thursday, when a judge lowered his bail from $250,000 to $50,000.

Marte called on all New Yorkers to follow the lead of Mayor Adams and offer their continued backing of the wounded worker as his murder cases goes forward.

“This hard-working New Yorker was doing his job and someone aggressively went behind the counter to attack him,” Adams said at a Thursday press conference. “I support hard-working, innocent people that are doing their job.”

“I ask everyone able to let’s keep supporting him,” Marte said of Alba. “He’s an innocent man. The problems came to him, he didn’t go to get the problems.”

Marte also took a shot at Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg for Alba’s arrest and the stiff bail initially imposed.

“What he’s doing is he’s rewarding the criminals with freedom and punishing the hard working people ... with their bodegas and supermarkets,” he said.