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A man who said he was previously assaulted by Jordan Neely is speaking out about his experience in the wake of the untimely death of the 30-year-old.
Neely died last week after a U.S. Marine veteran named Daniel Penny and at least two others restrained Neely following alleged threats and erratic and hostile behavior on a New York City subway train. According to video, Penny held Neely down in a chokehold while waiting for authorities. Neely’s death has been ruled a homicide.
“He should have been in some rehab center,” Filemon Castillo Baltazar said of Neely, speaking to the New York Daily News.
Baltazar said he was assaulted by Neely while he was waiting for a train in Greenwich Village back in 2019. He says he was approached by Neely out of nowhere and punched in the head.
“I felt a punch to my head. He didn’t say anything, he just hit me. He hit me above my right eye,” Baltazar said.
The assault victim added that Penny “shouldn’t be punished” for his actions.
As highlighted by The Daily Wire, Neely has a lengthy record of arrests, stemming from trespassing to felony assault, and was struggling with mental health. In 2021, for example, Neely punched a 67-year-old woman in the face, landing him in a program for 15 months.
According to witness testimony, Neely boarded the F train on Monday and began screaming at passengers, telling them, “I’ll hurt anyone on this train,” and saying he was “ready to die.” Penny at some point moved in to restrain Neely, taking him to the ground and placing him in a chokehold. Video of the incident shows Neely kicking his legs and attempting to get out of the chokehold, as at least two other passengers jump in to help restrain the 30-year-old. Numerous people on the subway train, including one of the men helping to restrain Neely, can be heard asking for the police.
Penny on Friday released a statement through his attorneys at the Raiser and Kenniff, P.C. law firm.
“We would first like to express, on behalf of Daniel Penny, our condolences to those close to Mr. Neely,” the statement said. “Mr. Neely had a documented history of violent and erratic behavior, the apparent result of ongoing and untreated mental illness. 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. Daniel never intended to harm Mr. Neely and could not have foreseen his untimely death.”
“For too long, those suffering from mental illness have been treated with indifference,” the statement added. “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.”