Mamadou Diallo says he's not guilty, and there was an outpouring of support for both him and his family.
He is now free to return to his family he would do anything to protect, 61-year-old Diallo was met with cheers outside the courthouse.
Watch the raw video here:
Charged with manslaughter, surveillance cameras inside his Washington Avenue apartment captured Diallo Monday night repeatedly beating 43-year-old Earl Nash with a tire iron, after his wife pegged Nash as the suspect who brutally beat and tried to rape her.
According to the NYPD, a man illegally entered the building, approached the 51-year-old woman, beat her with a chair and hit her in the head, causing bruises to her forehead before removing her clothes, police said.
The woman was able to break free and call her husband, 61-year-old Diallo, who was outside the building, on her cell phone. He rushed inside.
The husband, police said, confronted the suspect in the sixth floor hallway and assaulted him. The suspect, identified as Earl Nash, 43, of the Bronx, was taken in critical condition with trauma to his head and body to Lincoln Hospital where he later was pronounced dead.
Surveillance video showed Nash with his shirt off after the alleged attack. Diallo is spotted getting off the elevator, and after his wife screams, 'That's him', Diallo goes after Nash with a tire iron.
Hours before the attack, Nash was spotted lurking the hallway and elevator.
Diallo was taken into custody and charged with manslaughter.
The case will ultimately go to a grand jury.
Police officers walked him out to a vehicle at the precinct Tuesday. Here's unedited video:
"Self-defense. He threatened my wife. He threatened my wife," Diallo said as he was transported from the 42nd Precinct in handcuffs.
Family and friends are upset to see the hard-working taxi driver charged with manslaughter. But from a legal standpoint, the self-defense defense is a challenge.
"The police had to charge Diallo with the manslaughter case because the bottom line was the danger was already over," said legal expert David Schwartz.
In court, Diallo's attorney called the incident an attack on Diallo's family under extreme circumstances, and asked for the judge to release the cab driver and father of three on his own recognizance. The judge granted the request, only arraigning Deallo on assault and weapons charges. It will now be up to a grand jury to decide if the manslaughter charge will stick. He is due back in court on June 27.
Nash has 14 prior arrests. He served five years behind bars for a 2006 conviction for selling drugs and bribery. He was released in February 2011, returned the next April, and then was released July 2015.