New York, NY – U.S. Marine Corps veteran Daniel Penny turned himself into police at the New York Police Department’s (NYPD) 5th Precinct in lower Manhattan on Friday morning to face charges stemming from a fatal chokehold he performed on a homeless man.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg announced on Thursday that he was filing charges against the military vet who subdued a homeless man who was behaving erratically and making threats on a New York Subway train, Townhall reported.
“After an evaluation of the available facts and evidence, the Manhattan D.A.’s Office determined there was probable cause to arrest Daniel Penny and arraign him on felony charges,” Bragg said in a statement. “Jordan Neely should still be alive today, and my thoughts continue to be with his family and loved ones as they mourn his loss during this extremely painful time.”
Critics have said that the charges against the Marine hero are a result of prosecutors bowing to pressure from activists who have been protesting the death of 30-year-old Jordan Neely, a Michael Jackson impersonator with a colorful police record.
Penny placed Neely in a chokehold with the help of two other passengers on a New York City Subway F Train after the homeless man began ranting and throwing things at passengers on May 1.
The takedown and ensuing struggle, captured in a now-viral video, showed the veteran holding Neely until the street performer stopped moving.
The video showed that Neely was held around the neck for two minutes and 55 seconds, BBC News reported.
Neely was transported to Lenox Hill Hospital after police arrived and pronounced dead.
Defense attorneys for Penny said their client didn’t mean to kill the homeless man but was only trying to protect other passengers on the subway from the violent suspect.
Penny is a decorated military veteran who has no criminal record, but Neely had been arrested more than 40 times, including for trying to kidnap a seven-year-old girl, Townhall reported.
There was a warrant out for his arrest at the time of his death for assaulting a 67-year-old woman in November of 2021, according to court records.
NYPD said there were another 40 recent police calls for “aided cases” that involved Neely, Townhall reported.
Bragg charged Penny with second-degree manslaughter on May 11 and the veteran turned himself in the next morning at a police precinct, the New York Post reported.
He was led from the precinct in handcuffs and transported to court for his arraignment.
His defense attorney, Thomas Kenniff, spoke briefly with reporters outside the precinct, the New York Post reported.
“This morning, Daniel Penny surrendered at the 5th Precinct at the request of the New York County District Attorney’s Office. He did so voluntarily and with the sort of dignity and integrity that is characteristic of his history of service to this grateful nation,” Kenniff told reporters and then departed without taking questions.
Penny was arraigned in Manhattan Criminal Court on May 12 and then released on a $100,000 cash bond, The Washington Post reported.
New York City Supervising Judge Kevin McGrath ordered the veteran to turn over his passport within 48 hours.
The district attorney’s office said McGrath also had Penny sign a waiver of extradition and told him to seek permission from the court before leaving the state should he seek to leave the state, The Washington Post reported.
He is scheduled to appear in court next on July 17.
If convicted, the military veteran is facing up to 15 years in prison for Neely’s death, The Washington Post reported.