A hard-working Manhattan bodega clerk who was forced to grab a knife to fend off a violent ex-con, now finds himself sitting behind bars at the notorious Rikers Island jail charged with murder and unable to post $250,000 bail.
The sky-high bail for Jose Alba — who has no known criminal history — was just half of what controversial Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office demanded, despite surveillance video showing the clerk being assaulted by his alleged victim in the bodega.
Alba, 51, was charged with the fatal stabbing of Austin Simon, 34, who can be seen storming behind the counter at the Hamilton Heights Grocery on Broadway and West 139th Street to attack the store worker Friday night.
“It was either him or the guy at the moment,” Alba’s daughter Yulissa told The Post Wednesday, saying it was a case of self-defense.
“He’s never hurt anybody. He’s never had an altercation where he had to defend himself. This is the first time for him.”