NEW YORK (CBSNewYork)– Authorities on Wednesday dropped charges against a Bronx man accused in the fatal beating of another man who police said was trying to rape his wife.
As CBS2’s Ali Bauman reported, the arrest of Mamadou Diallo, 61, was a hotly-debated case back in May. He had been charged with manslaughter in the beating death of Earl Nash, 43.
The charges were reduced in June to assault and criminal possession.
Upon having the charges dropped, Diallo was celebrating much more than just his freedom. His attorney said before the charges were dropped, they had considered taking a plea deal – which could have had Diallo deported.
Diallo held the wife whom he saved as he walked out of the Bronx courthouse a free man.
“I was not thinking something like this would happen to me because I never make problem. I never make problem. For 60-something years, I never make problem,” Diallo said. “But when problem comes into your house, you have nothing to do.”
Diallo’s wife, Nenegale, was happy following his release too, 1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria reported.
“Really, really happy today because it’s a surprise to me today for that,” she said.
The incident took place back in May on Washington Avenue and East 168th Street in the Morrisania section.
Diallo’s wife was at home when she answered a knock at her door and Nash pushed his way in, attacked her, pulled his pants down and tore off her clothes, according to authorities.
Her sister was in a back room of the apartment and broke up the attack, and Nenegale then called her husband.
Diallo caught Nash as he was running away, and a fight broke out, according to authorities. Diallo beat Nash with a tire iron in an elevator, according to authorities. He died a short time later at a hospital.
“My religion no allowed to kill someone,” Diallo said. “I don’t want to kill.”
An autopsy determined his death was caused by complications related to his injuries, cocaine intoxication and heart disease.
“Some people tell me I’m a killer. That’s hard for me,” Diallo said. “I had no intention to do nothing wrong.”
Nash had been arrested 19 times before on charges including robbery, arson, assault, and more.
“This case was a tragedy for all whose lives intersected in that Bronx building on the night of May 30, 2016,” Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark said. “We waited for three months for the autopsy results, and after a thorough investigation as well as discussions with the deceased’s family we have determined that no grand jury action is warranted. We are dismissing the charges against Mamadou Diallo.”
Diallo asked for peace for himself and for the man he killed.
“Thanking God, and tell everybody to give peace, for me and who died, give peace,” he said.
Nash’s family spoke out about the decision to drop the charges, saying that he had “suffered a mental breakdown and was diagnosed with schizophrenia.” They said his life spiraled out of control due to a lack of mental health treatment.
As CBS2’s Jessica Layton reported, Nash’s younger sister was among those who urged the District Attorney’s office to drop the remaining charges.
“As a family we pray that Mrs. Diallo and family may recover from the unfortunate trauma they’ve experienced. While we cannot [undo] the damage that was done that evening, we hope to bring some closure not only to our family but to the Diallo family as well,” the family said in a statement.
Diallo’s supporters included members of the Black Lives Matter movement, civil rights leaders, and educators.
“Mr. Diallo is not a criminal. He is a hero. He should not be thrown in jail with the keys thrown away. He should be given a key to the borough. This man received a phone call that his wife was being raped and ran upstairs to come to her aid,” Black Lives Matter leader Hawk Newsome said last month.
Diallo says he will now try to get his Taxi & Limousine Commission license back so he can drive a car and support his family.