Daniel Penny indicted by grand jury in Jordan Neely chokehold death

A grand jury has indicted Daniel Penny for his role in the death of Jordan Neely on a New York City subway train.

The exact charges will remain sealed until his arraignment, but he was arrested on one count of second-degree manslaughter for the homeless man’s May 1 death. 

Grand jury proceedings are secret and spokespeople for Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg declined to comment Wednesday, but the indictment was confirmed by New York City Mayor Eric Adams.

Penny, a 24-year-old U.S. Marine veteran, said that he felt compelled to act after Neely, who had a history of mental illness and violent incidents, allegedly verbally threatened other riders on an F train on May 1.

"The three main threats that he repeated over and over was: ‘I'm going to kill you; I'm prepared to go to jail for life; and I'm willing to die," Penny said.

Penny approached Neely from behind, wrapped his arm around Neely's neck, and dragged him to the floor of the subway car, as other riders helped restrain Neely until he fell unconscious.

"I used this hold to restrain him and I did this by leaving my hand on top of his head to control his body. You can see in the (bystander) video, there's a clear rise and fall of his chest indicating that he was still breathing and I’m calibrating my grip based on the force that he's exerting. I was trying to keep him on the ground until the police came," Neely said.

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Cellphone footage of the incident went viral, showing Penny with his arm wrapped around Neely's neck. One passenger can be heard telling Penny, "You’re going to kill him."

Neely’s death prompted protests, but some people have rallied around Penny, including several of the Republican candidates for president.

Penny, 24, was released on $100,000 bond following his May 12 arraignment. He will need to return to court to be arraigned on the new indictment.

Under New York law, prosecutors needed a grand jury indictment to move forward with the case.

If convicted, Penny could face years in prison.

With the Associated Press.