Family of slain NYC bodega attacker plans to sue store in Jose Alba case

The family of the man who was killed after he attacked Manhattan bodega worker Jose Alba has lawyered-up — and notified the store that they plan to sue over the deadly incident, The Post has learned.

David Simon – whose brother Austin Simon was stabbed July 1 by Alba in self-defense — has hired an attorney as he prepares to file suit against the Blue Moon convenience store in Hamilton Heights.

“We intend to make a claim for damages as a result of the injuries sustained by our client,” David’s attorney, Kathleen Beatty, wrote in an Aug. 22 letter to the store, obtained by The Post on Tuesday.

Austin, 35, was killed “due to negligence in the ownership, security, hiring of employees, retention of employees, training of employees, and management of your premises,” the letter claims.

Video grab - Bodega stabbing - Jose Alba, Austin Simon
The family of Austin Simon — who was killed by bodega worker Jose Alba in self-defense — plans to sue the Manhattan store.

Beatty notified the bodega to “preserve” evidence including surveillance videos, witness information and incident reports. She also asked for information about the store’s insurance coverage.

But Francisco Marte, the head of a bodega association that has been helping Alba, claims Blue Moon Convenience wasn’t insured at the time of the incident — so there isn’t money to go after.

“The family is just pushing to see if they can get money from the store owner,” Marte told The Post. “This is a shakedown.”

Surveillance video from Friday night inside of the "Hamilton Heights' Grocery on Broadway newar W. 139th. st. Bodega worker Jose Alba 51, is seen plunging a knife into the neck & chest of Austin Simon 37, killing him after a dispute over a bag of chips.
Surveillance video from the night that led to Austin Simon’s death.

The owner has since insured Blue Moon, Marte said, but “he is afraid that this might wipe him out. All the money he had he used to fix the store.”

“He put everything in it,” Marte said. “He even borrowed money. He owes money right now.”

And Alba — against whom the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office dropped murder charges in July — is scared he will also be sued, Marte said.

“If they can sue the place, they will come after [Alba] also,” Marte said. “He is very, very concerned about this because he has no money — so he is keeping a low profile.”

Austin Simon
Alba has spent nearly a week on Rikers Island for the killing of Simon (above) before the DA’s office dropped the case.
no credit

And while they hope a lawsuit won’t go forward, Marte, head of the Bodega and Small Business Association, said: “I don’t believe any jury will rule in their favor because it was self-defense.”

The 61-year-old store clerk had been locked up in Rikers Island for almost a week on $250,000 bond before the bail amount was lowered — on charges of murdering Simon, an ex-con.

But following widespread backlash amid video footage showing Simon first attacking Alba, the DA’s office dropped the case on July 19 citing insufficient evidence.

Footage from the attack in the bodega
The head of a bodega association, Francisco Marte, says the store wasn’t insured at the time of the incident.

In early August, Alba quit and planned to move back to the Dominican Republic where he’s from, the owner told The Post at the time.

Beatty didn’t immediately return a request for comment.

Leave a Comment