Relatives say a 61-year-old man initially charged with manslaughter was only protecting his wife from a would-be rapist when he fatally beat a man in a Bronx apartment building Monday. Mamadou Diallo was outside when 43-year-old Earl Nash got inside the building around 9:30pm and began knocking on doors asking for water, neighbors tell PIX11. When he knocked on the door of Diallo's apartment, wife Nenegale tells DNAinfo she thought it was her children; as she opened the door, she says Nash pushed his way inside, locked the door, turned down her offer of money and said, "I'm going to rape you." "He started beating on my mother and my aunt, and they started fighting back," Diallo's son tells NBC New York. "He tried to rip their clothes off."
At one point, Nenegale was able to grab her phone, dial her husband's number, and scream for help. Nenegale says some 20 minutes elapsed between the attack beginning and her husband arriving. Diallo met Nash in a sixth-floor hallway, where police say he beat Nash, causing severe head and body injuries. Nash—who had some 20 prior arrests, according to police, and had been released from jail May 20 following a parole violation—was taken to a hospital in critical condition and died around 1:30am. Diallo's charges have been dropped to assault, with the New York Daily News noting that could change as prosecutors dive into the case. "Any husband would do the same thing as what he did," his son tells CBS New York. Diallo's 51-year-old wife is in a hospital recovering from injuries, including bruises to her forehead. (This wife had a premonition of danger and saved her husband.)