Trump visits bodega where worker who was cleared of murder stabbed ex-con to death in self-defense: Harlem crowd chants ‘four more years’ and little kids cry ‘we love you’ as ex-president gets hero’s welcome

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Written By Maya Cantina
  • Trump visited a Harlem bodega where a worker killed an ex-con in self-defense 
  • The worker was a no-show but Trump spoke with the bodega owner 
  • Trump received a hero’s reception in Harlem as he made a pit-stop after court 

Donald Trump left his criminal trial on Tuesday and visited the site of a bodega where a worker stabbed an ex-con to death in self-defense in his Manhattan store.

The former president headed to the store in Hamilton Heights where Jose Alba knifed Austin Simon to death in July 2022, when he jumped the counter in his store. 

The worker was a no-show as he lives in the Dominican Republic, with Trump instead meeting with the Harlem bodega’s owner in the early evening at the conclusion of the day’s court proceedings in his hush money trial.

Alba’s case was seized on by Republicans, until charges against him were eventually dropped by District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who has become a frequent target of Trump’s attacks on the campaign trail over claims he is soft on crime.

Trump received a raucous welcome as he arrived at the bodega, with the crowd chanting ‘four more years’ and cheering his name. 

As the crowd sung the Star Spangled Banner behind him, Trump added: ‘You know what we’re going to be doing, right? We’re going to be saving America.’ 

The former president seen speaking with the bodega’s owner Maad Ahmed on Tuesday 

Trump visited the site of the July 2022 stabbing death of ex-con Austin Simon, who was killed in self-defense by Jose Alba when he jumped the counter in his store

Trump visited the site of the July 2022 stabbing death of ex-con Austin Simon, who was killed in self-defense by Jose Alba when he jumped the counter in his store

Trump received a raucous reception as he arrived at the bodega on Tuesday, as a crowd chanted 'four more years' at the former president

Trump received a raucous reception as he arrived at the bodega on Tuesday, as a crowd chanted ‘four more years’ at the former president

Alba (right) fled to upstate New York and had said he would move back to his home in the Dominican Republic because he feared for his life after he was charged. Charges against him were later dropped by Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg, a frequent Trump target

Alba (right) fled to upstate New York and had said he would move back to his home in the Dominican Republic because he feared for his life after he was charged. Charges against him were later dropped by Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg, a frequent Trump target 

Alba’s charges sparked intense backlash, with surveillance showing he was not intent on fighting and appeared to act in self-defense during the clash which was sparked by a dispute over potato chips.

At the time, footage clearly showed that Simon had moved behind the counter at the convenience store in Hamilton Heights and pushed the store clerk into a stack of shelves before grabbing him.

It was only then that Alba reached over to a shelf and pulled out a knife to fight back.

Trump used the case in his ongoing campaign to paint his Democrat opponents are soft on crime, weeks after he arrived at slain NYPD officer Jonathan Diller’s wake in Long Island after he was allegedly killed by a repeat offender. 

At the bodega, Trump took aim at Bragg as he declared: ‘Number one, we have to stop crime.

‘We have to let the police do their job, they have to be given back their authority,’ he said, adding that his election campaign is ‘making a big play for New York.’ 

Trump, a former New Yorker who now lives in Florida, said he ‘loves this city’ but it has ‘gotten so bad in the last three, four years.’  

‘The African American community are now not getting jobs, the migrants are taking their jobs that are here illegally,’ Trump continued. ‘Hispanics are not getting jobs.’ 

‘You have massive numbers of terrorists coming into our country, all because of Biden.’ 

Trump’s warm reception in Harlem also saw a crowd of children screaming ‘we love Trump!’, in footage shared by his 2024 national press secretary Karoline Leavitt. 

Alba’s case triggered widespread debate over self-defense arguments in criminal cases, as footage showed he was attacked by Simon’s girlfriend during a vicious spat over a bag of chips, when she tried to pay $3 but her card was declined.

As Alba and Simon fought, the girlfriend who started the row produced a knife from her bag and slashed Alba in the arm.

Other videos obtained by DailyMail.com showed Simon – who was on parole for attacking a police officer when he died – marching behind the bodega counter to confront Alba.

‘Papa, I don’t want a problem, papa,’ Alba told him calmly.

The girlfriend was never charged, but Alba was accused of murder in a case that sparked fury across the city. 

Alba fled to upstate New York and planned to move back to his home in the Dominican Republic because he feared for his life after he was charged, and quit his job after receiving an outpouring of hate over the stabbing.

Sources told the New York Post that Alba missed the meeting with Trump as he remains in the Dominican Republic. It had previously been reported that he was expected to meet the former president. 

Trump made the stop at the bodega at the conclusion of the second day of his criminal trial

Trump made the stop at the bodega at the conclusion of the second day of his criminal trial 

The girlfriend was never charged, but Alba (above walking into a police precinct) was accused of murder in a case that sparked fury across the city

The girlfriend was never charged, but Alba (above walking into a police precinct) was accused of murder in a case that sparked fury across the city

Video footage reveals the bodega worker Jose Alba was trying to avoid confrontation with Austin Simon in the minutes leading up to the July 1 stabbing

Video footage reveals the bodega worker Jose Alba was trying to avoid confrontation with Austin Simon in the minutes leading up to the July 1 stabbing

Jose Alba shows off the injuries he sustained during the vicious attack in his bodega

Jose Alba shows off the injuries he sustained during the vicious attack in his bodega 

Alba (arm pictured) shows photographers his injuries alongside friend Francisco Marte

Alba (arm pictured) shows photographers his injuries alongside friend Francisco Marte 

Instead, Trump met with the store’s owner, Maad Ahmed, 36, who told Trump that his store has been dealing with rampant crime. 

In response, Trump said store workers ‘should be allowed to have a gun.’

‘If you had a gun, you’d never get robbed, you’d never get robbed, that would be the end of it,’ he said. 

Ahmed a US citizen who emigrated from Yemen, said he has never previously voted, but would lend his support to Trump in the election because of his law and order stance. 

‘I have never voted, because I’ve been working, but this time I will. We need Donald Trump back in the White House because he’s a strong guy,’ he said.

‘What happened to Jose was very hard for me. Jose was defending himself from the guy who came behind the counter. All for $1 worth of chips.’ 

On July 19, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office asked a judge to drop the charges Alba after having faced intense backlash, including criticism from the city’s mayor. 

The motion to dismiss stated that prosecutors ‘have determined that we cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant was not justified in his use of deadly physical force.’

The filing said that ‘a homicide case against Alba could not be proven at trial beyond a reasonable doubt’ and that the case will not be presented to a grand jury. 

Trump’s appearance came as Bragg has been a frequent target of his attacks. 

Outside the bodega, he also took aim at the criminal trial against him that began on Monday, which he dubbed ‘election interference.’

‘The whole world is watching this New York legal system,’ he said. 

‘It all comes out of Washington, because they’re losing very badly, did you know they’re losing very badly? They’re losing badly in the polls.

‘People don’t like the persecution, they don’t like what’s going on, they don’t like these fake prosecutors.’

As a crowd appeared to sing the Star Spangled Banner behind him, Trump added: ‘You know what we’re going to be doing, right? We’re going to be saving America.’  

ᴀʀᴛɪᴄʟᴇ ꜱᴏᴜʀᴄᴇ

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