Daniel Penney, a former Marine charged with manslaughter in the strangulation death of subway Jordan Neely, said he could have acted on threats yelled at other passengers by an upset homeless man who would have “sold someone.” I would have killed him,” he said in a new interview.
penny, 24, told Fox News Digital When Neely, a 30-year-old former busker with a history of mental illness, lashed out on the F train in lower Manhattan on May 1, he felt obligated to intervene.
“If [Neely] If he had carried out the threat, he would have killed someone,” Penny told the outlet in an article published Thursday.
The Long Island native said he was inspired by the late civil rights activist and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel. Wiesel reportedly spoke to a high school class after reading the author’s memoir “Night,” based on his experience as a Jewish prisoner of war in a Nazi concentration camp. .
“One of the overall messages he gave was that good people didn’t do anything,” Penny told Fox. “It’s a lesson I hold with to this day.”
The former infantry squad leader also stressed that he considered the seriousness of Mr. Neely’s threats, some of whom, according to witnesses, were not afraid to go to jail or “take a bullet.” It is said that there was also a statement that
“I’m stuck in the train between stops and have nowhere to go,” Penny told Fox.
“You can try to leave, but there are limits to what you can do in a full car,” he continued. “I was scared. I looked around and there were elderly women and children and they were scared.”
Penny said he hadn’t been on a train since the day he grabbed Neely from behind, put his arms around his neck and strangled him in a grappling technique known as the rear-naked choke.
Penny’s attorneys at the Manhattan law firm Reiser & Kenniff allege that their clients defended themselves. Police said he felt unsafe and only stepped in “to protect himself and his fellow New Yorkers.”
A freelance journalist who happened to be on the subway taped the tail end of the fatal accident, causing an immediate outrage when the footage was released.
The city’s coroner found Neely’s death due to “neck compression” and ruled it a homicide.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office has since charged Penny with second-degree manslaughter, which carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison if convicted.
Penny turned himself in to police on May 12. Penny said his arrest and subsequent assault was a difficult event.
“I would say it was a little humiliating, but that’s the reality,” Penny told Fox. “That’s how things unfold.”
A grand jury was reportedly brought before him in early June to hear evidence against him.
He is currently out on $100,000 bail. An online fundraiser raised nearly $3 million for his legal fees.
Neely, a former busker who often imitated Michael Jackson, had a history of mental illness but slipped through the cracks in the Big Apple’s mental health system.
His family accused authorities of not getting the help he so desperately needed and called on the prosecutor’s office to charge Penny with murder.
At Neely’s funeral, civil rights activist Reverend Al Sharpton delivered a rousing tribute, overturning the authorities’ decision not to immediately prosecute Penny, who was initially released after being questioned by police.
“Who would have thought that this man would suffocate his brother to death and go home to see his family?” asked Sharpton.
In his first public comment since the fatal encounter, Penney told the Post that he would probably act similarly if he were put in a similar position.
“You know, I live an honest, honest life,” Penny said last month. “And if there were threats and dangers in the present, I would…”
He told Fox he sympathized with Neely’s family.
“They were in my prayers. I sympathize with their loss,” he said. “Like Jordan, they too are victims of a broken system.”