Friends shielded the mother of 17-year-old Franklin Reyes outside criminal court Thursday night.
But nothing could shield her son from what comes next for him.
In court Friday, Franklin Reyes wept openly at a bail hearing, in which the judge allowed him to be released, and you can imagine what the family of the 4-year-old girl Reyes allegedly killed, thought about that.
"My daughter is dead and this guy is free, he's going to have the summer, he's home, he's going to play video games, he's going to eat his mom's home cooked food, I'm never going to have my daughter back," said Alan Russo, the victim's father.
Reyes, who had no driver's license, was fleeing from police earlier this month, when he struck and killed 4-year-old Ariel Russo, who was walking to school with her grandmother.
Her grandmother, Katiya Gutierrez was released from the hospital only a day ago, still unable to walk.
The defense claimed Friday that Reyes would appear in court in the future, but Russo's family wasn't so sure.
"The defendant fled police when he was first stopped, and then fled a second time after he run down and killed 4-year-old Ariel and severely injured her grandmother," said Sanford Rubenstein, the family's attorney.
The criminal complaint alleges Reyes heard the sirens and the police on loudspeakers telling him to pull over, that Reyes drove 50 to 60 miles an hour trying to elude police on Amsterdam Avenue, and that he tried to get away after he struck the girl. That is the man a judge set free.
"You can kill somebody and you can walk on bail, it's not right, it's not right, I'm never going to have my daughter back," Russo said.