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A passenger who was on a New York City subway car when Marine Corps veteran Daniel Penny put an alleged violent criminal in a fatal chokehold last week said she is praying for him after he was charged with manslaughter.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg charged the 24-year-old with second-degree manslaughter on Thursday afternoon in the death of Jordan Neely, 30.
Penny surrendered to police on Friday morning and was released after he appeared in court without entering a plea.
He faces up to 15 years in prison if he is convicted of the charge.
But prior to his arrest, a woman who was present when Neely allegedly began to threaten the train’s passengers commented on the charge.
A woman who was described as a 66-year-old who wished to remain anonymous told The New York Post she wants the best for the military veteran.
“I hope he has a great lawyer, and I’m praying for him,” the woman told the newspaper.
She added, “And I pray that he gets treated fairly, I really do. Because after all of this ensued, I went back and made sure that I said ‘Thank you’ to him.”
Witness to Jordan Neely subway chokehold death is ‘praying’ for ex-Marine Daniel Penny after charges https://t.co/AAZki6NdZl pic.twitter.com/LgxihSLwTS
— New York Post (@nypost) May 12, 2023
The woman also commented on Neely’s actions before he was subdued by three men, including Penny.
“[Neely] 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 told the Post.
She added, “[Neely] said, ‘I would kill a motherf—er. I don’t care. I’ll take a bullet. I’ll go to jail.’”
The woman said Penny ignored Neely’s threatening statements until it was obvious something had to be done.
“This gentleman, Mr. Penny, did not stand up… Did not engage with [Neely]. He said not a word. It was all Mr. Neely that was … threatening the passengers. If he did not get what he wants,” she said.
Neely died from what a corner called “compression of the neck,” citing the chokehold, which Penny used as two other male passengers helped him subdue Neely.
The death was ruled a homicide.
Neely had been arrested more than 40 times in the decade leading up to his death and he was well-known among frequent passengers for his propensity for violence.
In 2021, police said Neely allegedly punched a 67-year-old woman in the head at random in an unprovoked attack, the Post previously reported.
A day before his death, Neely allegedly tried to push someone onto the tracks of the train station where he encountered Penny.
A Reddit user claimed, “This man jumped on me, grabbed my shoulders, and pushed me towards the tracks Sunday night at this very station.”
The person added, “I was able to run away but he got physical and chased other people standing on the platform before getting on an uptown train. This whole thing is so sad.”
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