Teen Driver Who Killed 4-Year-Old Arrested for Dragging Officer 100 Feet
WASHINGTON HEIGHTS — The teen driver who struck and killed 4-year-old Ariel Russo while fleeing police last year was arrested again Sunday after dragging a police officer about 100 feet while driving without a license, authorities said.
Franklin Reyes, 18, was stopped by police at West 181st Street and Amsterdam Avenue Sunday around 6 p.m. after making a left turn without signaling, according to a criminal complaint.
Officer Edward O’Connell told Reyes to put his car in park, but when the patrolman reached inside, the unlicensed teen hit the gas, dragging O’Connell about 100 feet, his partner Officer Richard Natal said, according to the complaint.
The officer suffered “contusions to his left wrist and elbow,” Natal told prosecutors.
Reyes then plowed his car into another vehicle on West 179th Street near Audubon Avenue, before taking off on foot, according to the injured officer's partner.
When Natal chased him down and ordered him to get on the ground, Reyes “refused to put his hands behind his back, swung his arms up and down and kicked his legs,” the officer told the Manhattan District Attorney's office.
Reyes was charged with second-degree assault, reckless endangerment, fleeing police, reckless driving, unlicensed driving and reckless endangerment.
Reyes, who is facing manslaughter charges for killing 4-year-old Ariel Russo in June 2013 while also trying to evade police, was driving by himself and had just a learner’s permit on Sunday.
This past June, he also allegedly stole thousands of dollars in jewelry and cash from a dead woman’s apartment, prosecutors said.
Reyes’ lawyer could not immediately be reached for comment.