The former Marine who held Jordan Neely in a fatal chokehold on a Manhattan subway earlier this month surrendered to New York authorities to face criminal charges in his death.
Daniel Penny, 24, turned himself in to New York police early Friday morning to be arrested on charges of second-degree manslaughter.
He was seen arriving at the 5th Precinct of the NYPD in lower Manhattan just after 8 a.m. local time, where he did not answer any questions from waiting journalists.
After his arrest, he will be arraigned in Manhattan Criminal Court today. He faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.
Mr Penny’s lawyers said in a statement they were “confident” he would be “absolutely exonerated of any wrongdoing” if all the “facts and circumstances” come to light as they claim the former Marine ” risking his own life” when he confronted Neely that day.
“When Mr. Penny, a decorated Marine veteran, stepped in to protect himself and his colleagues in New York, his safety was not assured. He risked his own life and safety, for the sake of his fellow passengers,” said Raiser and Kenniff’s statement, which was shared by The Independent.
“The unfortunate outcome was the sudden and unexpected death of Mr Neely. We are confident that once all the facts and circumstances surrounding this tragic event are brought to light, Mr Penny will be fully exonerated of any wrong act.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office confirmed on Thursday that Mr Penny faces a manslaughter charge over Neely’s death, which led to widespread protests across New York City.
“We can confirm that Daniel Penny will be arrested on a charge of Manslaughter in the Second Degree,” a spokesperson for the DA’s office confirmed in a statement to The Independent.
“We cannot provide any additional information until he is arraigned in Manhattan Criminal Court, which we expect to happen tomorrow.”
On May 1, a man identified as Mr Penny put the 30-year-old homeless former street performer in a fatal chokehold for several minutes until he died on the floor of a F train at the Broadway-Lafayette platform in Manhattan.
The city’s medical examiner determined the cause of Neely’s death to be homicide.
Neely — who experienced a mental health crisis in the days leading up to her death — was identified by social work teams involved in outreach to New York’s homeless community. He has had many interactions with law enforcement and health responders over the years.
During his walk on the F train on May 1, Neely complained of hunger and thirst, according to witnesses and journalist Juan Alberto Vazquez, who posted a video of part of the incident on his Facebook page.
Mr Vazquez said Neely threw his jacket on the floor of the train car before another passenger grabbed him from behind in a headlock. Others grabbed his arms. Widely shared video footage shows Mr Penny and two other men holding Neely down on the floor of a train car for several minutes, while Mr Penny holds Neely in a chokehold.
Another passenger can be heard on the video telling the men that his wife is in the military and warning them that putting Neely in a chokehold could kill her.
“You don’t have to be arrested for murder,” he said. “You have one hell of a chokehold, man.”
A statement from lawyers for Mr Penny on 5 May said Mr Penny was “involved in a horrific incident … which ended in the death of Jordan Neely.”
“When Mr Neely began aggressively threatening Daniel Penny and the other passengers, Daniel, with the help of others, acted to protect themselves, until help arrived. Daniel never intended to harm Mr .
Lawyers for Neely’s family said the statement from Mr Penny’s legal team was not “an apology or an expression of regret” but “character assassination and a clear example of why he believed he had the right to take Jordan’s life.”
Neely’s death sparked widespread calls for support for homeless and mentally ill New Yorkers, as advocates and lawmakers condemned what they described as an act of vigilantism in a city that marginalizes and targets the most vulnerable residents with violence.
In the week following his death, NYPD officers arrested at least 24 people — including a photojournalist, who was targeted by a high-ranking police officer — in protests and vigils demanding his arrest. .
In his remarks on May 10, more than a week after Neely’s death, Mayor Eric Adams did not address how Neely died or discuss the events surrounding his death, but issued his strongest statement yet. after the incident, as opposed to his first. comments after it.
“Jordan Neely didn’t deserve to die,” he said. “A New Yorker struggling with tragedy, trauma and mental illness, a man whose last words are a cry for help.”
Mr Adams described his administration’s response to people experiencing homelessness and mental health difficulties, including legislation proposed by Albany lawmakers, the creation of outreach teams, and a controversial policy. which allows authorities to involuntarily hospitalize people deemed mentally ill for their own care. .