NYC Subway Incident Witness Comes Forth, Gives 'Hero' Marine the Defense He Needs
A woman who says she watched the fatal altercation between an aggressive criminal and the Marine veteran who restrained him on a New York City subway car earlier this month has come forward.
Her recounting of the incident that left 30-year-old Jordan Neely dead might give 24-year-old Marine Daniel Penny the defense he needs during his upcoming manslaughter trial.
Penny put Neely in a chokehold on May 1 after the latter made threats against passengers and otherwise spoke as if he was prepared to hurt anyone who came near him.
Neely died as a result of the hold, a coroner said, and within a week Penny was charged by left-wing activist Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.
The young man faces up to 15 years in prison if he’s found guilty.
He’s going to need a good defense in court, and thankfully donations are pouring in.
It also appears as though he might have a witness whose testimony could help convince jurors he acted only to protect life and not to take it.
A woman described as in her sixties and “of color” spoke to Fox News on Thursday about what she saw on the train car and also what she thinks of Penny.
“He’s a hero,” the woman, who said she had spent five decades living in the city, told the network.
She said in her estimation there was no doubt Penny acted appropriately.
“It was self-defense, and I believe in my heart that he saved a lot of people that day that could have gotten hurt,” the woman added.
The woman said she and others were minding their own business when Neely began to make erratic and escalating threats of violence.
“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,’” she said.
She added, “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. The people on that train, we were scared. We were scared for our lives.”
She said Penny only intervened — with the help of two other men — after Neely used the words “bullet” and “kill.”
“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 told Fox News.
As for her impression of Penny, the woman categorized him as a good person who took actions he obviously would have rather avoided.
“Mr. Penny cared for people. That’s what he did. That is his crime,” she said. “Nobody wants to kill anybody. Mr. Penny didn’t want to kill that man.”
She concluded, “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.”
She said at least three people thanked the Marine veteran for stepping in after the altercation ended.
The woman might or might not be the same person who told The New York Post last week she was there when Neely died and that she had been praying for Penny.
Penny was honorably discharged from the military after decorated service while Neely was arrested more than 40 times in recent years for crimes ranging from the attempted kidnapping of a small girl to punching elderly people.
By all accounts, the man was a public menace who would be alive today if the prosecutors who want Penny in jail had put Neely there instead.
A jury will decide whether Penny should serve time in prison for his actions.
But the defense will only need one juror who has ever been afraid of the city’s dangerous transit system to see this situation for what it appeared to be.
With testimony like that offered to Fox News on Thursday, Bragg’s crusade to put the Marine behind bars feels as if it might have just gotten more difficult.
CORRECTION, May 18, 2023: Jordan Neely is alleged to have made erratic and escalating threats of violence before his death. An earlier version of this article gave a different name.
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