Kid Rock Steps Up in a Big Way to Help Marine Vet Charged in Subway Death: 'Mr. Penny Is a Hero'
Musician Kid Rock was among the largest donors to Marine veteran Daniel Penny as he prepares to fight for his freedom in court in regard to a deadly encounter he had on a New York City subway two weeks ago.
Penny was one of three men who subdued 30-year-old Jordan Neely on May 1 after the man had made threats and otherwise acted erratically.
Video shared online after the incident went viral and showed Penny put Neely in what proved to be a fatal chokehold.
Before Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg charged Penny with second-degree manslaughter last week, a campaign was launched to help him cover any potential legal expenses.
Penny surrendered to police on Friday morning and was released later that day.
A GiveSendGo campaign set up for him had hauled in more than $2.1 million as of Monday afternoon. Kid Rock was among those who donated big.
The musician, whose legal name is Robert Ritchie, chipped in $5,000 and commented, “Mr. Penny is a hero. Alvin Bragg is a POS. Kid Rock.”
Fox News confirmed the donation was in fact made by the rocker.
The campaign will cover Penny’s legal expenses and vows that if anything is left over, that amount will be donated to a mental health organization in New York City.
Neely reportedly struggled with mental illness and drug addiction.
Once a popular Michael Jackson impersonator, Neely racked up more than 40 arrests over the years and once pleaded guilty after he attempted to kidnap a seven-year-old child, The New York Daily News reported.
He had a history of violent charges and assaults, and two years was arrested for punching a 67-year-old woman.
In spite of the severity of the charges and accusations, Neely was free at the time of his death.
Passengers who were aboard the train just before the chokehold incident reported that before the altercation with Penny, Neely made threats of violence and declared he might hurt someone.
He also allegedly stated he was not afraid to spend the rest of his life in prison.
New York City subways have been a magnet for random violence in recent years.
The city has also seen an uptick in cases where people were pushed onto tracks — sometimes at random.
In January, a 34-year-old man died after he was shoved onto the tracks by another man police identified as 28-year-old Andre Boyce.
The New York Post reported Boyce had a lengthy criminal record.
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