Marine veteran Daniel Penny arraigned in NYC subway chokehold death. Jordan Neely had history of violent attacks on subway riders, including breaking a 67-year-old woman’s nose in 2021.
Marine veteran Daniel Penny was arraigned Friday in Manhattan Criminal Court on one count of second-degree manslaughter for the subway chokehold death of Jordan Neely.
A judge agreed to release Penny, a 24-year-old college student, on a $100,000 bail package signed off by prosecutors and secured by bondsman Ira Judelson.
Penny turned himself into police early Friday for fatally choking the erratic homeless man May 1 on a northbound F train in a case that has polarized New York City.
Penny’s attorney, Thomas Kenniff, said the young man, who is one week shy of graduation from college, acted to protect himself and other passengers who were being threatened.
If convicted of the charge, Penny could face up to 15 years in prison.
Meanwhile, a witness who was on the subway when Penny put Neely, 30, in a chokehold told the New York Post she “was praying for him.”
The 66-year-old woman said Neely was “threatening the passengers” during the altercation.
“He said, ‘I don’t care. I’ll take a bullet, I’ll go to jail’ because he would kill people on the train,” the woman said of Neely. “He said, ‘I would kill a motherf—er. I don’t care. I’ll take a bullet. I’ll go to jail.’”
Penny didn’t step in until Neely’s behavior got out of hand, the retiree said. She thanked the young man afterward for protecting the passengers.
According to a freelance journalist who recorded the confrontation, Neely, who suffered from mental illness, was allegedly 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.”
The city’s medical examiner ruled the killing a homicide caused by compression of the neck.
Mayor Eric Adams said at a press conference Thursday that “Jordan Neely did not deserve to die.”
The caught-on-video killing has highlighted grave public safety issues in the city’s subways and sparked widespread protests.
Outreach workers 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.
Neely had a history of violent attacks on subway riders – including, in 2021, punching a 67-year-old woman in the face, breaking her nose and orbital bone.
Four months earlier, he allegedly slugged another woman in the face on the subway platform, court records show.