A 24-year-old Marine has voluntarily surrendered to police in New York City and will face a manslaughter charge related to the death of Jordan Neely.
Daniel J. Perry arrived around 8 AM and is expected to be arraigned later in the day. He was initially taken into custody after this altercation with Neely and questioned by law enforcement before being released without charges being filed against him.
Penny acted “with the sort of dignity and integrity that is characteristic of his history of service to this grateful nation,” Thomas Kenniff, his attorney, told reporters outside the 5th Precinct in Lower Manhattan on May 12.
“The case will now go to court,” said Kenniff, per ABC 7 NY.
Neely was a 30-year-old homeless man whose behavior sparked serious concern among passengers on a northbound F train on May 1. After Neeley began escalating, Penny and other passengers attempted to subdue him. Video of the incident shows Penny restraining Neely in a chokehold.
Passengers made multiple 911 calls prior to the altercation, reporting a man “with a knife or gun” and someone making threats on the F train. According to the Daily Mail, Neely had “menaced passengers,” complaining that he was hungry and was ready to die or go to jail for life.
Neely was unconscious when police arrived at the scene and later pronounced dead. The New York chief medical examiner’s office ruled Neely died of compression to the neck and that his death was a homicide.
“The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office had faced immense pressure to charge Penny as the investigation into the fatal encounter progressed,” noted The New York Post.
Penny’s legal team has argued that Neely had a criminal history that includes violent behavior which had been attributed to an untreated mental illness. Neely has attacked multiple people in the subway, including punching a 67-year-old woman as she exited a subway station in the East Village in 2021, breaking her nose and fracturing her orbital bone. He pled guilty to felony assault in February and was sentenced to 15 months in an alternative-to-incarceration program. As part of the program, Neely was supposed to enter a treatment facility. Neely did not complete the program.
“From January 2020 to August 2021, he was arrested for public lewdness after pulling down his pants and exposing himself to a female stranger, misdemeanor assault for hitting a woman in the face, and criminal contempt for violating a restraining order,” reports Fox News. “All three cases were dismissed as part of his Feb. 9 plea deal.”
Kenniff and attorney Steven Raiser, who is also representing Penny, have maintained that their client acted in self-defense.
“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,” Penny’s lawyers said in a statement on May 5 after he was identified. “Daniel never intended to harm Mr. Neely and could not have foreseen his untimely death.”
They added, “For too long, those suffering from mental illness have been treated with indifference. We hope that out of this awful tragedy will come a new commitment by our elected officials to address the mental health crisis on our streets and subways.”
Penny, a Long Island native, served in the 1st Battalion, 2nd Marines, and 2nd Marine Division from June 2017 to June 2021. While in the military, Penny was awarded two Sea Service Deployment Ribbons and five medals, including the Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, the Humanitarian Service Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, per NBC News.
After the arraignment, a grand jury will be convened to hear the state’s evidence against Penny. If convicted, Penny could be sentenced to up to 15 years in prison.