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Subway Vigilante Who Choked Jordan Neely Arrested on Manslaughter Charge

Juan Alberto Vazquez/Reuters
Juan Alberto Vazquez/Reuters

Daniel Penny, the man captured on video choking Jordan Neely to death on a New York City subway on May 1, was arrested on a charge of second-degree manslaughter on Friday morning.

Penny, 24, surrendered in the city’s 5th Precinct the day after the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office confirmed that it planned to bring a criminal case over 30-year-old Neely’s killing.

The horrifying incident was recorded by onlookers on an F train in Manhattan. Through his lawyers, Penny alleges that he acted to protect himself and others after Neely “began aggressively threatening” him.

Penny’s attorney said outside the precinct Friday that his client had “voluntarily” surrendered to authorities and that he expected arraignment to take place on Friday afternoon. Penny could face a sentence of up to 15 years if convicted.

Viral footage of the incident leading to Neely’s death shows him already being subdued by Penny, a former U.S. Marine. The clip spans three minutes, with Neely squarely in Penny’s grasp throughout.

<div class="inline-image__caption"><p>Protests erupted around New York City to protest the death of Jordan Neely.</p></div> <div class="inline-image__credit">Eduardo Muñoz/Reuters</div>

Protests erupted around New York City to protest the death of Jordan Neely.

Eduardo Muñoz/Reuters

Penny’s lawyers previously said in a statement he “never intended to harm Mr. Neely and could not have foreseen his untimely death.” The statement also made note of Neely’s “documented history of violent and erratic behavior” that stemmed from mental health issues.

Neely’s family took issue with Penny’s statement, responding with one of their own—also through attorneys.

“The truth is, he knew nothing about Jordan’s history when he intentionally wrapped his arms around Jordan’s neck, and squeezed and kept squeezing,” the Neely family statement said.

Neely was homeless at the time of his death, which the medical examiner ruled a homicide. Records show he was arrested for past incidents on the subway, but the nature of those arrests is unclear.

Loved ones of Neely described him as sweet and loving, with a hobby of impersonating Michael Jackson. His family acknowledged that Neely struggled with mental health issues since his mother was murdered when he was a kid.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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