Parents of little girl killed by speeding SUV face suspect in court for first time

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MANHATTAN (PIX11) — Sophia and Alan Russo, for the first time, saw the face of the man accused of killing their daughter Ariel and seriously injured the child’s grandmother, Katia Gutierez.

17-year-old Franklin Reyes was charged with manslaughter, assault, unlawfully fleeing a police officer, leaving the scene of an accident and driving without a license.  Appearing scared, emotional and choking back sobs as he faced a judge for his alleged actions on June 4th, Reyes said nothing in the courtroom.

Reyes allegedly drove his mother’s SUV without a license to school and according to the indictment unsealed Wednesday,  when police tried stopping him for reckless driving, he panicked and took off.  The indictment further stated, Reyes was speeding at  25 miles per hour or more above the posted speed limit.

The Russo family also did not miss this opportunity, along with their attorneys, to discuss the ongoing issues surrounding the city’s 9-1-1 system.

The Russo’s announced just last week their desire to sue the city for up to 40 million dollars.  The lawsuit alleged the city was negligent and its new 911 system or an EMS dispatcher may have delayed getting getting help to Ariel Russo and her grandmother sooner.

The Russo family also requested for the Manhattan District Attorney’s office to open up a criminal investigation looking further into the dispatchers actions.

This also comes in the heels of a rescheduled city council hearing on the city’s 911 system this Friday.

Reyes was remanded without bail and will return to court on June 27.

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