Bodega clerk Jose Alba plans to sue NYC over wrongful prosecution in murder case

The Post learned that the assailant, who was famously charged with murder after stabbing an individual inside the store, has finally been dropped. He was jailed on Rikers Island before his case, and now the city will sue him for wrongfully prosecuting him.

According to his lawyer, Imran Ansari, Jose Alba, a 61-year-old man, plans to commence legal action in the upcoming month. This was mentioned on Wednesday.

September in Alba submitted legal notices against both the city and the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, seeking $10 million in damages. These claims assert that they unjustly pursued charges against him in relation to the incident where he fatally defended himself against Austin Simon, a former convict, on July 1, 2022.

The office of the DA’s claim that certain New York agencies botched the NYPD investigation and withheld critical evidence would clear Alba’s name, serving as legal precursors to lawsuits against those agencies.

Alba, who was stabbed by Simon’s girlfriend, also filed a claim notice against the city’s Corporation Hospitals and Health for the incident. Alba claims that he did not receive proper medical treatment for his infected stab wounds during his time in Rikers jail.

The second-degree murder charges were dropped by the District Attorney on July 19, as public outrage grew over his innocence. Alvin Bragg’s office, the District Attorney, agreed to lower his bail to $250,000 before the hardworking clerk spent six nights in the troubled lockup.

Jose Alba
Jose Alba plans to sue the city for wrongful arrest in the death of Austin Simon, who was stabbed to death in self-defense by the bodega clerk.
Alec Tabak

Alba alleges that upon arriving in Hamilton Heights, there was a failure to obtain witness statements, including his own. He further claims that his case was mishandled throughout the entire process.

Simon had beckoned Lee, Tina, his girlfriend, inside the Blue Moon Convenience Store. The police solely relied on the “incredible” word of Simon’s girlfriend, who claimed that Alba stabbed someone during the melee, according to state papers.

The police officers also neglected to look at the video of the incident, which clearly showed that there was no criminal liability on part of the Alba.

According to official documents, it is alleged that rather than immediately transporting Alba to the hospital for medical attention as he had requested, law enforcement officers took him to the 30th Precinct for questioning.

The assertion asserts that the authorities “neglected to provide all pertinent and exonerating details to the NY County District Attorney’s Office and concealed exonerating information.”

Protesters holding "Free Alba" sign.
The case was dropped against Alba a few weeks later after mounting public pressure over his innocence.
Gregory P. Mango

The document asserts that the District Attorney’s Office, relying on the details provided by law enforcement officers, pursued “the most severe accusation conceivable” against Alba and requested exceptionally steep bail “in order to penalize Alba regardless of the case’s circumstances.” The allegation suggests that prosecutors also “chose not to apprehend Tina Lee, who lacked a justifiable reason for stabbing Alba.”

However, during a public statement, Bragg acknowledged that his office was still in the process of reviewing the evidence at the time of the arrest and that the investigation was still ongoing. The filing of charges and the arrest of Alba should have been done by the investigators from the DA’s office and the NYPD before this review.

The assertion alleges that Alba was subjected to “inhumane and unconstitutional conditions” while being held at Rikers. Shortly after his arrival, he was promptly transferred to the medical facility, where the staff indicated that his wound would require cleaning twice a day and he would need to be given medication for pain and fever to prevent any potential infection. It is worth noting that he was housed in the intake area without any COVID-19 safeguards.

Jose Alba
Alba claims law enforcement didn’t offer him prompt medical treatment for his stab wounds.

States the claim, the wounds became infected, and treatment for his “numerous requests” and correction officers and jail staff didn’t answer, yet.

The complaint claims that “it was evident that all of the proof the district attorney examined was accessible when Alba was apprehended and prior to Alba being accused,” in the district attorney’s legal documents ultimately requesting to dismiss the lawsuit against him.

Jose Alba.
Alba also says he wasn’t offered proper medical treatment at Rikers Island and one wound became infected.
Alec Tabak

According to the claim papers, the motion states that Simon was the aggressor, as Alba stabbed Lee in self-defense. The motion does not provide an explanation for why Alba was not arrested for stabbing Lee, but it does assert that there was no logical reason for Alba to stab Lee.

Alba plans to initiate a legal action for multiple accusations, such as unjust incarceration, retaliatory legal measures, suppression of evidence that could establish innocence, and unlawful mistreatment while being confined.