CLAREMONT, Bronx (WABC) -- The family of Earl Nash, the man who allegedly tried to rape a woman who was apparently killed by her husband in the Bronx, has released a statement to the press saying Nash was schizophrenic.
The statement comes just days after Nash allegedly attacked a woman and attempted to rape her in her Claremont apartment.
The statement reads: "We, the family of Earl Nash, are deeply devastated and saddened by the recent events surrounding the attack of Mrs. Diallo on May 30, 2016. Earl has been labeled as a "career criminal" by those in the media. And while it's true he has been in and out of jail for the past 15 years, he had also been diagnosed with and untreated for schizophrenia.
"In his early interaction with law enforcement it was identified that he needed serious medical treatment, however the only treatment available was through the correctional system. The Earl we knew and loved was a compassionate man, had a passion for life, loved his family and was a talented and promising actor. After his diagnosis, we watched him become unrecognizable and felt helpless, untrained and therefore unable to give him the support he needed.
"As his family who knew him best, we have been mourning losing him to severe schizophrenia for years. We pray that Mrs. Diallo and family will recover from the unfortunate trauma they've experienced. It is evident by the lack of support for mental health treatment, suffered by Earl and many others, that incarceration alone is not the answer. There is much work to be done in the area of mental health reform and its place in the justice system.
"We would like to be clear that our family is very empathic concerning this tragic event as we also mourn the loss of our loved one. It is our hope that the District Attorney's Office will review both
incidents fairly and in accordance to the law. As you can imagine, this is a very difficult time and we asked the media to respect our family's privacy."
"He was out to do something really bad," said Sholem Klein, a coordinator with Rockaway Nassau Safety Patrol.
Arrested 14 times, 43-year-old Earl Nash was no stranger to police, and now new details are emerging about his erratic and dangerous behavior just days before death.
"We got a very frightened phone call that a guy on the street is following this lady into her house," Klein said.
The Rockaway Nassau Safety Patrol was called to Beach 9th Street last Friday, after Nash allegedly followed a woman and tried to break into three nearby homes.
"There was another house he was trying to break in and as we were going, he was constantly on the move and we were here with the police looking for him," Klein said.
Nash was arrested and charged with criminal trespassing, but later released. Then just three days later police say Nash forced his way into Mamadou Diallo's Bronx apartment where he allegedly tried to rape his wife.
Diallo who was caught on surveillance video coming to his wife's aid and repeatedly striking Nash with a tire iron is now facing charges of assault, weapons possession and harassment charges.
He was originally arrested by the NYPD for manslaughter.
Next Tuesday the case will go to a grand jury, which could still choose to indict Diallo for manslaughter.
Diallo is due back in court on June 27.
"Our presence alone kept him from doing potentially what he wanted to do and what he succeeded to do in the Bronx," said Elkanah Adelman, of the Rockaway Nassau Safety Patrol.