Cheers greeted Mamadou Diallo when he was escorted from a Bronx police station last night. Diallo was in police custody after killing a man who allegedly tried to rape his wife. One supporter said, "He has a right to defend his wife. What are you going to do if somebody comes in and tries to rape your wife?"

Diallo said to reporters, "He threatened my wife."

Police say that the 61-year-old cab driver fatally beat Earl Nash, 43, with a tire iron after Nash apparently broke into Diallo's home at 1240 Washington Avenue in the Bronx and attacked his wife, Nenegale Diallo. According to NBC New York, "Nash allegedly knocked at the victim's door, pushed his way in when she answered and exposed himself and tried to tear off the woman's clothes, according to sources. Amid the struggle, the woman called for her husband and one of the woman's [relatives] tried to fight off Nash."

Nenegallo Diallo recounted to DNAinfo that Nash told her, "I don't want anything. I don't want money. I'm going to rape you." She also said that Nash beat her and then attacked her sister, allowing her to get away, open the door and scream for help. But she said that then Nash caught up with her, hitting her with a chair.

Nash locked the door again and started beating Nenegale and cursing at her. At one point, he hit her with a chair. "He hit me in my head and I fall again," Nenegale said.

Police said Nenegale's sister helped to pull Nash off of her, and Nenegale managed to grab her phone in the fray.

"I took my phone and see my husband's number first. I pressed the number. I made a loud noise, screaming, 'Please, help me! Help me! Call the police!' Then he slapped me again. The phone is falling, but I was making noise so my husband could hear the noise," she said.

Diallo returned home and when he got to the 6th floor of the building, his wife pointed out Nash who was leaving. Surveillance video shows Diallo arriving in the hallway and turning around, after he's told Nash is behind him, before attacking him in the elevator:

The Post reports, "[Diallo] followed with several more blows, in a beating that lasted up to two minutes, sources said. Nash fought back with a belt, but the pounding left him with a fractured skull, sources said."

By the times cops arrived, Nash was found unconscious in the elevator and was later pronounced dead at Lincoln Hospital.

Diallo was initially charged with manslaughter, but was only charged with assault, harassment and criminal possession of a weapon after his court appearance. Diallo's defense attorney said, "This was not an offense where the defendant committed an aggressive act. This was an attack on his family, in his house under extreme circumstances." The cabbie was released on his own recognizance.

Daniel Bibb, a criminal defense lawyer and a former Manhattan prosecutor, writes in the Daily News today that the manslaughter charges would have been too difficult for the Bronx DA's office to pursue: "I don’t care who you are — your race, color, creed — you’re going to be sympathetic to this guy. The facts of the case are going to lead to sympathy, and sympathy can oftentimes overcome the rule of law."