Neely, a homeless man with over 40 arrests and a history of mental health issues, was placed in a chokehold by Penny on a New York City subway after witnesses say Neely embarked on an aggressive rant and began screaming that he did not care if he went to jail.
“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,” said Thomas Kenniff, a lawyer for Penny.
The decision to charge Penny was made by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office and came after protests over Neely’s death. Video shows Penny, 24, arriving at the 5th Precinct in lower Manhattan to surrender to police. He is expected to be arraigned on Friday afternoon. If convicted, Penny could face 15 years in prison.
HAPPENING NOW: Daniel Penny surrendered to authorities at the NYPD’s 5th precinct. He’s facing a 2nd degree manslaughter charge in the subway chokehold death of Jordan Neely #nbc4ny #JordanNeely #NYC pic.twitter.com/1ZRsW4LXL2
— Tracie Strahan (@tstrahan4NY) May 12, 2023
The NYC medical examiner said last week that Neely died from a “chokehold” and ruled the incident a “homicide,” although criminal proceedings would be necessary to determine intent or culpability.
A statement from Penny’s lawyers said that he, alongside others, acted in self-defense to protect other passengers on the subway.
“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,” the statement said.
Neely had an extensive criminal history, including several guilty pleas for violence-related charges. Two years ago, he was arrested for punching a 67-year-old female in the face and knocking her to the ground as she exited a subway station, as well as for attempting to kidnap a 7-year-old girl he was seen dragging down a street, according to The New York Daily News.
He pleaded guilty to felony assault over the first incident but never completed his alternative-to-incarceration program, for which he missed a compliance court date in February, and pleaded guilty to endangering the welfare of a child over the second incident and was sentenced to four months in jail.