NY driver, awaiting trial in death of child while fleeing officers, accused in new chase

  • Article by: COLLEEN LONG , Associated Press
  • Updated: September 3, 2014 - 3:55 PM

NEW YORK — An unlicensed driver accused of killing a 4-year-old while fleeing police last year has again been charged with a crime behind the wheel — this time injuring a police officer while bolting from a weekend traffic stop, authorities said.

Franklyn Reyes, 18, made an illegal turn Sunday evening and refused to put the SUV in park when an officer asked him to, police said. One officer had reached through a passenger-side window to try to put the vehicle in park when Reyes sped off, and the officer was dragged about a block. Police said Reyes was arrested after he ditched the car in a parking garage and hid in the office.

His lawyer didn't immediately return a message seeking comment.

The Manhattan district attorney's office said Reyes was being held without bail after his arraignment on assault and other charges and is due back in court Friday.

Reyes is awaiting trial on a manslaughter charge in the death of Ariel Russo last year. Authorities said he had taken his parents' car without permission and was fleeing officers who were trying to stop him from driving erratically. The SUV jumped a curb and hit a building, pinning Ariel and striking her grandmother, who survived.

He has also been accused of taking jewelry, cash and wine from a dead woman's apartment. His attorney has said that Reyes denies taking anything and was helping his father, the building superintendent, with a plumbing leak. Reyes' father was charged with similar crimes.

The judge overseeing Reyes' cases had offered the teen a deal where he'd receive a maximum of four years behind bars in Russo's death and the chance to have his case eventually sealed. He faced up 15 years in prison if convicted at trial. It's unclear if his latest arrest will affect the proposal.

Sanford Rubenstein, an attorney for Ariel Russo's parents, said Wednesday that the family was outraged.

"That offer should be revoked. He should stand trial in every case that he has," Rubenstein said.

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