Owner robbed in NYC bodega where Jose Alba killed attacker
The Higher Manhattan bodega the place a cashier killed an assailant in self-defense was once more the scene of an assault on a employee — and the suspect was let out after his arrest, The Submit has discovered.
The child-gloves therapy of accused robber Ariel Hernandez, 19, is a far cry from the way in which authorities handled 61-year-old retailer employee Jose Alba after the worker grabbed a knife to guard himself from a raging ex-con earlier this 12 months.
Alba, 61, was initially charged with homicide and spent almost every week on Rikers Island though surveillance video confirmed him being attacked by Austin Simon, 35, earlier than the July 1 stabbing.
The newest incident on the Blue Moon comfort retailer in Hamilton Heights unfolded round 6:30 p.m. Aug. 19 as proprietor Osamah Aldhabyani, 33, was working a 12-hour shift.
“The man got here within the retailer and began scaring the purchasers,” Aldhabyani mentioned of Hernandez.
“He grabbed two Monsters [energy drinks] and left. I believed that was the tip of it, however he got here again three minutes later.”
Aldhabyani mentioned the person “informed me [he] has an actual downside with me,” then “got here behind the counter and requested me for cash and Black & Milds,” a model of tipped cigarillos well-liked with weed people who smoke to be used in making blunts, in response to on-line postings.
“I informed him to depart me alone as a result of I didn’t need any issues,” Aldhabyani mentioned.
“He began tossing issues behind the counter and … after I pushed him exterior, we began combating. I put him on the ground and held him there till the police got here.”
A legal grievance filed in opposition to Hernandez alleges that he “knocked [Aldhabyani] to the bottom and wrapped his arm round [Aldhabyani’s] neck, inflicting substantial ache to [his] head and again.”
On the suspect’s arraignment the following day, Hernandez pleaded not responsible to second-degree theft, third-degree housebreaking and petit larceny.
He was launched with out bail by Manhattan Legal Court docket Decide Melissa Lewis Andre — though the theft depend is a “qualifying offense” for bail below the state’s controversial 2019 bail reform regulation.
Manhattan District Legal professional Alvin Bragg’s workplace didn’t search to have bail set.
“The information uncovered so far on this ongoing investigation, together with that the defendant has no prior convictions, don’t justify looking for bail and potential detention on Rikers Island because the least restrictive means to make sure his return to court docket,” Bragg spokesman Doug Cohen mentioned.
In the meantime, Aldhabyani’s worker, Alba confronted the potential for life in jail in his case till Bragg — who’s confronted fierce criticism for his lenient therapy of crooks — lastly dropped the fees after a sequence of front-page Submit studies that outraged politicians and on a regular basis New Yorkers.
Aldhabyani, a Qatari immigrant who purchased the shop eight months in the past, mentioned he fears turning into the following law-abiding sufferer to be focused by Manhattan’s progressive DA.
Aldhabyani mentioned Bragg’s workplace unexpectedly despatched him a subpoena for surveillance video of the incident involving Hernandez. In Alba’s case, authorities visited the shop to retrieve comparable recordings the morning after Simon’s slaying.
The Aug. 30 subpoena demanded that the bodega flip over “any and all surveillance video” from “between 5 p.m. and seven p.m.” on the date Aldhabyani was robbed and warned that failure to “produce mentioned objects” might lead to a conviction for legal contempt and “a high-quality of $1,000 and imprisonment for one 12 months.”
However Aldhabyani mentioned he can’t comply as a result of the bodega’s digital camera system solely shops recordings for 14 days and all he has are the clips he shot on his cellphone, the longest of which is three minutes, seven seconds.
“I’m scared that the DA is retaliating due to Jose Alba and that what occurred with Jose will occur to me — as a result of I might be arrested like Jose,” Aldhabyani mentioned.
“I’m frightened of being arrested as a result of they’re concentrating on me as a result of they informed us to not share the Jose Alba video with anyone and we shared it.”
Aldhabyani mentioned he confirmed up on the DA’s workplace Sept. 6, as directed within the subpoena, and met with an official who informed him to anticipate one other letter that has but to reach.
“I’m ready for this letter, and I need to see what’s occurring. I’m nervous and scared,” he mentioned.
In a ready assertion, Bragg spokesman Cohen mentioned, “All New Yorkers should really feel protected of their workplaces.
“Nobody at Blue Moon is being investigated — acquiring video proof by a subpoena is a routine a part of investigating a case.
“We take the defendant’s alleged conduct critically and are actively investigating it,” Cohen added.
The Authorized Help Society, which is representing Hernandez, declined to remark.