NEW YORK – Marine veteran Daniel Penny surrendered to authorities in Lower Manhattan Friday morning to face a manslaughter charge in the death of an erratic homeless man, Jordan Neely, that he subdued on the New York City subway.
Penny, 24, arrived in a black Cadillac Escalade along with his attorney Thomas Kenniff. They stepped out of the vehicle about 8:00 a.m. and walked up the stairs to the 5th Precinct where Penny turned himself in to police. Although they made no comments prior to entering the building, the attorney previously issued a statement, Fox News reported.
“When Mr. Penny, a decorated Marine veteran, stepped in to protect himself and his fellow New Yorkers, his well-being was not assured. The unfortunate result was the unintended and unforeseen death of Mr. Neely. We are confident that once all the facts and circumstances surrounding this tragic incident are brought to bear, Mr. Penny will be fully absolved of any wrongdoing.”
Penny, who is currently enrolled in college, is expected to be transported from the precinct Friday to Manhattan Criminal Court and arraigned on one count of second-degree manslaughter, a charge pursued by progressive prosecutor Alvin Bragg.
Penny put Neely, 30, in a rear-naked chokehold May 1 during a confrontation on a northbound F train. He had the support and assistance from fellow passengers on the train.
Neely, who has a lengthy history of violent attacks and mental illness, was acting aggressively and screaming at passengers in the subway car.
“He started screaming in an aggressive manner,” freelance journalist Alberto Vazquez told the New York Post. “He said he had no food, he had no drink, that he was tired and doesn’t care if he goes to jail. He started screaming all these things, took off his jacket, a black jacket that he had, and threw it on the ground.”
Penny took Neely to the ground from behind and held him in a carotid restraint hold, as he appeared to gradually lose consciousness, according to Vazquez and the footage.
The footage shows passengers complimenting Penny for acting. It captured Penny and another passenger arranging Neely’s body in the “recovery position” in an attempt to ensure that he would be all right. A passenger off screen can be heard saying “he’ll be alright.” Neely appears to be moving late in the video, Law Officer reported.
The city’s medical examiner ruled the death a homicide due to compression of the neck.
Outreach employees were so familiar with Neely that he was on the city’s “Top 50” list – an internal roster kept by the Department of Homeless Services of people most in need of help, the New York Post reported.
Among Neely’s violent attacks on subway riders included a 2021 incident where he punched a 67-year-old woman in the face, breaking her nose and orbital bone.
Neely’s family, who were nowhere to be found prior to his death, now claim through their attorneys that Penny should face criminal consequences, and said he “needs to be in prison.”
It’s unclear who represents Neely’s family since his father reportedly abandoned him as a child and his mother was killed by her boyfriend when he was a teenager, the nj.com reported.