NEW YORK – An uncle of Jordan Neely — the erratic homeless man with a lengthy criminal record who died after being subdued on the subway earlier this month — was arrested near the Port Authority Bus Terminal. Police sources said Tuesday the man is accused of stealing purses from restaurants, according to a report.
Christopher Neely, 44, had become a quasi-representative for the family amid the highly publicized May 1 death of his 30-year-old nephew, frequently making comments about the controversial case, the New York Post reported.
However, police sought Neely, of Hamilton Heights, for a pattern of grand larceny, including the handbag thefts, according to sources.
A member of the NYPD’s pickpocket team located Neely about 11 p.m. Monday near the Manhattan bus station. The wanted man split as the officer approached. When Neely was caught after a brief foot pursuit, he fought back before police managed to subdue him, sources told the news outlet.
Neely is facing charges that include criminal possession of stolen property, resisting arrest, bail jumping and unlawful possession of a weapon.
It was unclear what kind of a weapon he possessed or when he would be arraigned.
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Neely has been outspoken in his defense of his nephew, who died after U.S. Marine Corps veteran Daniel Penny, 24, placed him in a carotid restraint hold (rear-naked choke) during an outburst on an F Train in Manhattan.
The city medical examiner ruled Jordan’s death a homicide and Penny, who was enrolled as a college student at the time of his arrest, has been charged with manslaughter. He is currently out of custody on $100,000 bail.
“I want this to go to trial,” Christopher said in response to Penny’s statements to The Post. “He has too much confidence in himself and has to be taught what he did was wrong.”