Owner robbed at same bodega where clerk killed attacker but 'woke' NYC prosecutor lets suspect walk free

Bodega owner Osamah Aldhabyani, 33, alleged that he's scared that the Manhattan DA is retaliating because he shared the video of clerk fighting attacker

Owner robbed at same bodega where clerk killed attacker but 'woke' NYC prosecutor lets suspect walk free
Osamah Aldhabyani allegedly gets robbed by suspect Ariel Hernandez (CCTV footage screenshot/NY Post)
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Warning: Graphic content, readers’ discretion advised

MANHATTAN, NEW YORK CITY: Months after Jose Alba, a bodega clerk, was seen grabbing a knife after an altercation with one of his customers and killing him, another criminal attack was recorded in the same place. The 'woke' prosecutor, who earlier charged Alba, 61, with murder and forcing the traumatized clerk to spend nearly a week on Rikers Island, has reportedly let the robbery suspect walk free after arrest.

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The incident unfolded in Manhattan at around 6.30 pm on August 9, while the owner, Osamah Aldhabyani, 33, was working a 12-hour shift in the Blue Moon convenience store in Hamilton Heights. Aldhabyani narrated the incident to New York Post. Talking about the accused robber, Ariel Hernandez, who now walks free, Aldhabyani said, "The guy came in the store and started scaring the customers. He grabbed two Monsters [energy drinks] and left. I thought that was the end of it, but he came back three minutes later." Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg let the 19-year-old suspect walk free which is a different shade from how he dealt with Jose Alba who acted in self-defense against Austin Simon, who was a convicted felon. The bail and bond for Alba were set at $250,000 (cash) and $500,000 respectively.

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Aldhabyani shared how the man reportedly had "a problem" with him as came behind the counter and asked me for "money and Black Milds," popular with weed smokers and primarily used in making blunts. Aldhabyani continued, "I told him to leave me alone because I didn’t want any problems. He started tossing things behind the counter and … after I pushed him outside, we started fighting. I put him on the floor and held him there until the police came." Aldhabyani further said, "I’m scared that the DA is retaliating because of Jose Alba and that what happened with Jose will happen to me — because I will be arrested like Jose. I’m scared of being arrested because they are targeting me because they told us to not share the Jose Alba video with anybody and we shared it."

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The criminal complaint filed against Hernandez alleges that the accused "knocked [Aldhabyani] to the ground and wrapped his arm around [Aldhabyani’s] neck, causing substantial pain to [his] head and back." However, during his arraignment the following day, Hernandez pleaded not guilty to second-degree robbery, third-degree burglary, and petit larceny. The bail was surprisingly given under the state’s controversial 2019 bail-reform laws which prohibits bail-setting for most people charged with a misdemeanor or non-violent felony while maintaining bail for most violent felonies.

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Jose Alba was attacked by ex-con Austin Simon first, and the family claims he acted out of self-defense. (Photo: Vegz05/Twitter)
Jose Alba was attacked by ex-con Austin Simon first, and the family claims he acted out of self-defense. (Photo: Vegz05/Twitter)

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Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Melissa Lewis Andre agreed on releasing Hernandez on his own recognizance as asked by the prosecutors. District Attorney Alvin Bragg's explained the decision to the publication on Thursday, September 15, saying, "The facts uncovered thus far in this ongoing investigation, including that the defendant has no prior convictions, do not justify seeking bail and potential detention on Rikers Island as the least restrictive means to ensure his return to court." The Legal Aid Society is representing Hernandez.

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