The case surrounding the death of Jordan Neely — a career criminal homeless man who died after being restrained by subway riders after an erratic outburst — is expected to be presented to a grand jury. Two law enforcement sources familiar with the case said Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg will likely present the case to a grand jury for consideration of potential charges, according to a report from NBC News.
The two sources did not provide a timetable as to when charges might be brought, or when the case would otherwise close without charges.
Daniel Penny, 24, has been identified as the Marine veteran who allegedly placed Neely, 30, in a chokehold on Monday. Penny, assisted by other passengers, allegedly restrained Neely after an erratic outburst in which the homeless man threatened other passengers, according to a report from the New York Post.
In a statement released Friday, attorneys for Mr. Penny pointed to Neely’s lengthy rap sheet — which includes a total of 44 arrests — as well as his documented history of violent and erratic behavior. “For too long, those suffering from mental illness have been treated with indifference,” the Raiser and Kenniff law firm said in a statement on behalf of Penny. “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 served in the Marine Corps between June 2017 and June 2021 in the st Battalion, 2nd Marines, and 2nd Marine Division, according to a spokesperson. He 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.
NEW: Jordan Neely’s chokehold death on a New York City subway is expected to be presented to a grand jury by Manhattan’s DA for possible charges, two law enforcement officials familiar with the homicide investigation say. https://t.co/TxdPsYqBi0
— NBC News (@NBCNews) May 5, 2023
On Monday, police responded to the station after receiving multiple 911 calls about a physical fight taking place on a northbound F train. “Further investigation revealed the 30-year-old was involved in a verbal dispute with the 24-year-old male and it escalated into a physical altercation,” an NYPD spokesperson told NBC News. “During the physical struggle between the two males, the 30-year-old male lost consciousness.”
Two sources familiar with the case told NBC that a total of five 911 were made in response to the incident, including initial reports of a homeless man threatening passengers.
Juan Alberto Vazquez, whose video of the incident has been widely circulated, provided his account in an interview with the New York Post. Vasquez said Neely got on the train and “began to say a somewhat aggressive speech, saying he was hungry, he was thirsty, that he didn’t care about anything, he didn’t care about going to jail, he didn’t care that he gets a big life sentence.”
Additional witnesses said that Neely allegedly acted very aggressively toward other riders and threatened to harm them, according to a report from NBC New York.
A law firm hired by Neely’s family said he suffered from mental illness “which began at age 14 when he experienced the brutal murder of his mother.”