Dominican winemaker returns to the DR after withdrawal of charges

The Dominican winemaker Joseph Alba51, who was accused of murder after the fight he had with an ex-convict in his store, will return to the country after the charge against him is dropped.

“He does not work here anymore. He’s getting ready to move out of the country,” said the manager of the Blue Moon convenience store, where the grisly stabbing occurred in Manhattan on July 1.

The New York Post reported that Alba is coming to the city of Santiago, where she is from.

“He no longer comes (to the store), but we go to visit him at his house from time to time,” said the manager of Blue Moon, who did not want to be identified.

Alba is still trying to process what happened to him, including being charged with murder in self-defense and finally having the blame dropped amid widespread protest, said Francisco Marte, director of a winery association who has been helping the worker.

“He’s taking a break right now,” Marte said. “He went upstate to get away from it all” before heading to the Dominican Republic.

“He is not going to work in the warehouse again. He is taking a break, dealing with his trauma and he said that he fears for his life,” he added.

“He is trying to get back to normal, but he said it is very difficult when you have memories of what happened. We are getting her professional help, and then (Alba and her family) decide if she returns to the DR for good or just spends time there.”

The event

On July 1, Alba was working behind the counter at the Hamilton Heights grocery store when she got into an argument with a woman because she couldn’t afford a bag of chips.

The woman then sent for her boyfriend, Austin Simon, 35, who came behind the counter and attacked Alba, prompting the worker to grab a knife and stab the man to death.

Alba called the police, and when they arrived, they arrested him on second-degree murder charges, sparking a wave of protests from his supporters, including Mayor Eric Adams and the former police commissioner of New YorkBill Bratton, who said the stabbing was done in self-defense.

was locked up in Rikers IslandBut he was soon released when prosecutors agreed to lower his bail from $250,000.

Still, even while out on bail, Alba was unable to return to work at the warehouse because her managers worried her life was in danger and Simon’s family might try to attack him at the store, they said in July.

On July 19, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg finally agreed to drop the charges against Alba, admitting there was insufficient evidence to prove the worker was “not justified in his use of deadly physical force,” he wrote. your office on a motion.

After the decision, Alba told reporters she was feeling “sort of” and soon fled upstate to get away from the spotlight and clear her head, Marte said.

The winemaker’s leader, when asked about Alba’s physical recovery after being stabbed during the melee, said the man’s injuries “are going well.”

“They are not completely healed,” Marte said. “The scars will be there for life. It will be a reminder of what happened and the tragedy that he went through.”

Alba could not be reached for comment.

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