The decision by DA Alvin to charge a 62-year-old bodega worker with murder for killing a career criminal in self-defense after the thug attacked him in his store is causing more and more anger.
Jose’s bail has been set at $250,000—an exorbitant amount compared with the low-or-no cash bail that is routinely given to repeat offenders by Bragg’s soft-touch office.
Jose stabbed Austin to death after Austin attacked him in the Bluemoon Convenience Store.
Jose, who is beloved in the local community, has worked there for decades and has no criminal record.
Jose was arraigned on a second-degree murder charge, and Alvin’s office asked the judge to set Jose’s bail at $500,000, which the judge deemed too high.
Jose has not yet been indicted; his case is going before a grand jury.
Among those who slammed Alvin was Republican Lee.
‘My first Day 1 action as Governor will be to fire Manhattan DA Alvin,’ he said.
The row began in the store when Austin’s girlfriend, who has not been named, tried to buy a bag of potato chips for her daughter.
Her debit card was declined as she tried to make the purchase and Jose insisted that she hand the chips back over.
According to police, the woman then produced her own knife from her handbag. There was a scuffle and she ran out of the store to call on Austin for help.
Austin was on parole for attacking a police officer at the time of the incident.
State records show he spent time in both Elmira and Five Points, two corrections facilities.
DA Alvin’s office has not commented on the decision to charge Jose.
There is growing outrage over the decision among the community where Alba lives, and online among strangers.
Austin’s girlfriend, who allegedly produced a knife and stabbed him in the arm, has not been charged.
A store worker who did not want to be named said: “The girlfriend is still out there enjoying her life’.
Regulars at the shop described Jose as a hard-working father who was preparing for retirement, and was looking forward to returning to the Dominican Republic next week to visit his family.
He worked at the store every day of the week from noon to 6 a.m. to ‘make an honest living.’
But during his more than two years working at the store, several patrons have tried to take advantage of him, grabbing items and trying to walk away with them.
One man even once held up a gun to him, they said.
So when Austin entered the store and started threatening him last week, he did not know whether he had a gun and could kill him.
‘He never wanted a problem,’ said Ahmad’s son, who was working the counter on Wednesday.
‘I picture him as my grandfather being in that situation.’