June 02, 2016 10:50 PM

The criminal charges against a New York City man who allegedly beat his wife’s attempted rapist to death were reduced during a court hearing held Tuesday, PEOPLE confirms.

Anthony Michaels, the defense attorney for 61-year-old Mamadou Diallo, tells PEOPLE that the initial manslaughter count filed against his client has been reduced to simple assault and criminal possession of a weapon.

Diallo, who was released from police custody on Wednesday, allegedly used a tire iron to bludgeon 43-year-old Earl Nash in the hallway of his Washington Avenue apartment building in the Bronx.

Police records indicate Nash forced his way into the building Monday evening, and confronted Diallo’s wife, hitting her and “causing contusions to her forehead before forcibly removing the victim’s clothing.”

Michaels tells PEOPLE that a cheering crowd of well-wishers greeted Diallo as he was released from jail.

Authorities claim Diallo rushed into the apartment building after receiving a call from his wife that she was being attacked by a strange man.

According to police, Diallo caught up with the shirtless man as he fled the scene, attacking him with the tire iron as he tried to board an elevator.

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Diallo will be back in court on June 27 for the next hearing in his case.

“I know that the district attorney intends to present this to a grand jury in order to get an indictment,” Michaels tells PEOPLE before characterizing his client as a “very peaceful, hard-working man” who has never been arrested before.

Michaels says it has been “very heartening” to see the nation’s overwhelmingly supportive response to his client’s arrest.

“I’ve received calls from all over the country, and everybody has been very supportive,” Michaels explains. “None of the calls I’m getting have been been negative at all. They’ve all been positive and helpful, and several people tell me they’re already writing letters to the district attorney’s office on my client’s behalf.”

In addition, Michaels reveals he’s fielded “several calls from people who want to pay for my client’s legal expenses.”

Law enforcement sources tell PEOPLE Nash had been arrested 19 times before his death on a variety of charges, including assault, arson, and robbery. His most recent arrests occurred in the Bronx back on Sept. 6, 2015, and Oct. 2, 2015. Court records on those recent arrests fail to include specific details on his alleged offenses.

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