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Teen driver accused of killing 4-year-old girl in UWS crash granted bail

Posted at 6:34 PM, Jun 27, 2013
and last updated 2013-06-27 18:34:18-04

Franklin Reyes, the 17-year-old accused of hitting and killing 4-year-old Ariel Russo, was granted $25,000 bailed Thursday.

Reyes was allegedly trying to outrun the police after they spotted him driving recklessly when he mowed down the little girl and her grandmother, Katia Gutierrez, on the Upper West Side. Reyes has been jailed at Riker’s Island since the fatal crash.

The judge called the accident “one big tragic mistake”.

Russo’s family is devastated with the judge’s decision.

Alan Russo, Ariel’s father, said, “My daughter is dead and [Reyes] is free. He’s going to have the summer. He’s going to be 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, and all he has to do is come up with $25,000 and he walks. It’s not fair. It’s not fair.“

Russo continues, “For $25,000, you can run from the cops. 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. He has the summer now,” when being asked, ‘what is the message?’ of the defendant receiving bail.

Reyes faces manslaughter charges, assault and fleeing police among other charges. If convicted, he could serve 15 years in prison.

When asked, “What did you think of the judge’s reasoning to why he [decided this way]?” the heartbroken father responded, “There is no reasoning.”