NYC bodega attacked again, suspect freed without bail


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A New York City bodega where a clerk killed an attacker in self-defense was again the scene of an assault on a worker. 

Owner Osamah Aldhabyani, 33, was working a 12-hour shift when Ariel Hernandez, 19.], entered the Blue Moon convenience store at around 6:30 p.m. ET on Aug. 19, according to the New York Post.

“The guy came in the store and started scaring the customers,” Aldhabyani told the Post, adding that Hernandez had grabbed two Monster energy drinks and left before returning “three minutes later.” 

The store owner recalled that Hernandez said he had a “real problem with me” and that he “came behind the counter and asked me for money and Black & Milds.” Black & Mild is a brand of tipped cigarillos.

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Osamah Aldhabyani was attacked during his shift at the Blue Moon convenience store in New York City.
(New York Post/William C Lopez)

Aldhabyani said he told Hernandez to leave him alone.

“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,” said Aldhabyani.

Video footage from the store’s surveillance camera obtained by the Post shows the assailant going behind the counter before the pair clash, ending up on the floor.

A criminal complaint, the outlet reported, alleges that Hernandez knocked Aldhabyani to the ground and wrapped his arm around the store owner’s neck.

The latest attack on the Blue Moon convenience store in the Hamilton Heights neighborhood of Manhattan unfolded around 6:30 p.m. Aug. 19 while owner Osamah Aldhabyani, 33, was working a 12-hour shift.

The latest attack on the Blue Moon convenience store in the Hamilton Heights neighborhood of Manhattan unfolded around 6:30 p.m. Aug. 19 while owner Osamah Aldhabyani, 33, was working a 12-hour shift.
(NY Post)

According to the Post, the suspect was released without bail by Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Melissa Lewis Andre after his arrest.

“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,” Doug Cohen, a spokesman for Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, told the Post on Thursday.

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Aldhabyani reportedly said he was subpoenaed to turn over “any and all surveillance video” from “between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.” on the date he was robbed and warned that failure to “produce said items” could result in a conviction for criminal contempt and “a fine of $1,000 and imprisonment for one year.”

The Manhattan bodega where a clerk killed an assailant in self-defense was again the scene of an attack on a worker — and the suspect was set free after his arrest, according to the New York Post.

The Manhattan bodega where a clerk killed an assailant in self-defense was again the scene of an attack on a worker — and the suspect was set free after his arrest, according to the New York Post.
(New York Post)

However, the owner said he could not comply because the camera system at the bodega only stores recordings for 14 days and all he has are the clips he shot on his cellphone.

Cohen said that no one at Blue Moon is being investigated and that obtaining video evidence through a subpoena is a routine part of investigating a case.

“We take the defendant’s alleged conduct seriously and are actively investigating it,” he said.

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The Legal Aid Society, which is representing Hernandez, declined to comment.

Fox News’ request for comment from Bragg’s office was not immediately returned.

The Blue Moon is the same store where clerk Jose Alba was attacked on July 1 by 35-year-old Austin Simon.

Surveillance video showed Simon threatened Alba, came behind the counter and shoved him into a wall before Alba reached for a knife and fatally stabbed the 6-foot tall man. Despite claiming self-defense, Alba was charged with murder.

Bragg’s office later backtracked and dropped the murder charge against Alba on July 19, saying in a memo that prosecutors “cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant was not justified in his use of deadly physical force.”

Fox News’ Danielle Wallace and Rachel Paik contributed to this report.



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