Lawyers representing New York City called on a federal judge to drop a lawsuit filed by ex-bodega clerk Jose Alba after murder charges against him were dropped.
Jose Alba, a former bodega worker, was attacked while working behind the counter on July 1, 2022, by 35-year-old Austin Simon as well as his girlfriend, Tina Lee. Alba grabbed his knife and fatally stabbed Simon. Alba claimed self-defense, but murder charges were later filed against him.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office would later drop the charges after an outcry in public support for Alba, which included Mayor Eric Adams.
Alba was jailed at Rikers Island for nearly a week before prosecutors lowered his $250,000 bail.
He would go on to file a lawsuit against the city, Bragg and NYPD Detective William Garcia.
However, lawyers for the city claimed in a Friday court filing that they had reason to charge Alba based on the available evidence, which includes testimony from Simon’s girlfriend, witness testimony, and surveillance video of the incident.
“Here, based upon the undisputed evidence, it was entirely reasonable to believe that plaintiff unnecessarily escalated the confrontation between himself and Mr. Simon—even if it was Mr. Simon who initiated the confrontation,” city lawyers stated.
Alba’s lawyer, Richard Cardinale, called the city attorney’s filing “outrageous” when speaking with Fox News Digital.
“They make it seem like we characterized everything in their motion to dismiss as if Jose Alba was the bad guy,” Cardinale said. “Part of the city’s motion to dismiss right now in the civil case is like, ‘oh, we also spoke to his girlfriend and she corroborated the video and she said this.'”
Fox News’ Chris Pandolfo and Danielle Wallace contributed to this report