Earlier this month (1 May), 24-year-old US Marine Corps veteran, Daniel Penny, killed the 30-year-old Michael Jackson impersonator on a northbound F train at the Broadway-Lafayette Street/Bleeker Street station.
Police reported that Neely was on the New York subway carriage when nearby passengers began to notice his erratic behavior, at which point Penny decided to intervene.
Eyewitness testimony from passengers claims Neely, who suffered with mental health problems, had been been screaming and begging for money on the subway train but had not actually physically attacked anyone.
The encounter soon became physical between Neely and Penny. Two other passengers helped restrain Neely and have not yet been publicly identified.
Penny ended up putting Neely in a chokehold which lasted several minutes and eventually caused him to lose consciousness altogether and it was later determined that his cause of death was a homicide as a result of the compression on his neck.
The ex-marine was charged last Thursday (11 May) after prosecutors confirmed he would be arrested for second degree manslaughter which can carry a maximum prison sentence of 15 years.
However, Penny has since been released on bond after he ‘turned himself in […] voluntarily and with the sort of dignity and integrity that is characteristic of his dignity of service to this grateful nation’ the following day (12 May).
Penny’s attorney resolved: “There is nothing less indicative of flight risk than someone voluntarily surrendering.”
A witness, who described herself as a woman of color, has since hit back at the Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg for prosecuting Penny in the first place.
The New Yorker, who has lived in the city for over 50 years, told Fox News Digital: “He’s a hero.”
Speaking of the incident, she declared: “It was self-defense, and I believe in my heart that he saved a lot of people that day that could have gotten hurt.
“I’m sitting on a train reading my book, and, all of a sudden, I hear someone spewing this rhetoric. He said, ‘I don’t care if I have to kill an F, I will. I’ll go to jail, I’ll take a bullet’.”
Recalling the moment, the witness continued: “I’m looking at where we are in the tube, in the sardine can, and I’m like, ‘OK, we’re in between stations. There’s nowhere we can go’.”
She went on to say the people on the carriage were ‘scared for [their] lives’.
According to the woman, Penny waited until the last minute to intervene and only stepped in to subdue Neely when he mentioned the words ‘kill’ and ‘bullet’.
“Why in the world would you take a bullet? Why? You don’t take a bullet because you’ve snatched something from somebody’s hand. You take a bullet for violence,” she added.
The witness resolved: “Mr. Penny cared for people. That’s what he did. That is his crime.
“Nobody wants to kill anybody. Mr. Penny didn’t want to kill that man, you should have seen the way Mr. Penny looked. He was distraught. He was very, very, very visibly distressed. And he didn’t go. He didn’t run. He stayed.”
The incident has since sparked a narrative about race which the woman addressed.
She stated: “This isn’t about race. This is about people of all colors who were very, very afraid and a man who stepped in to help them.
“Race is being used to divide us.”
Penny’s bond is set at on $100,000 bond and he is scheduled to return to court 17 July.
* Article From: Unilad