BREAKING: Daniel Penny speaks out about protecting passengers from Jordan Neely: ‘I knew I had to act’

"We were all scared. Mr. Neely was yelling in passengers' faces and they were terrified," Penny explained.

Katie Daviscourt Seattle WA
On Sunday, Daniel Penny spoke out for the first time regarding the incident in which he had placed Jordan Neely into a chokehold on a New York City subway in May, saying he was "trying to protect passengers" from the homeless man that was making violent threats.

Penny explained the circumstances surrounding the incidident. He had taken the uptown F train, and said that he saw a man get on the train at the Second Avenue stop, only a few stops after Perry, who was coming home from school.

"He appeared to be on drugs," Penny said. "The doors closed and he ripped his jacket off and threw it at the people sitting down to my left. I was listening to music at the time and I took my headphones out to hear what he was yelling.

"The three main threats that he repeated over and over were 'I'm going to kill you,' 'I'm prepared to go to jail for life,' and 'I'm willing to die."

Penny said it was "a scary situation," and that he was "scared for himself," but that looking around at the women and children on the train, he "couldn't just sit still."

The incident, which was captured on video, ultimately resulted in Neely's death, and Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg's office has charged Penny with manslaughter.

"Some people say that I was holding onto Mr. Neely for 15 minutes. This is not true," Penny said. "The whole interaction was than less than five minutes. People say I was trying to choke him to death, which is also not true. I was trying to restrain him."

Penny recollected that Neely, a homeless man, was making violent threats towards passengers, which included many passengers that were people-of-color. He emphasized that his decision to place Neely into a chokehold "was not about race" but rather to protect his fellow passengers from the threats of violence.

"You can see in the video there's a clear rise and fall of his chest, indicating that he's breathing. I was trying to restrain him from being able to carry out the threats," Penny said. "Some people say that this was about race, which is absolutely ridiculous. I didn't see a black man threatening passengers. I saw a man threatening passengers. A lot of whom were people of color."

"The man who helped restrain Mr. Neely was a person of color," Penny explained. "A few days after the incident, I read in the papers that a woman of color came out and called me a hero. I don't believe that I'm a hero, but she was one of those people that I was trying to protect."

"We were all scared. Mr. Neely was yelling in passengers faces and they were terrified," Penny explained.

The Marine Corps veteran said that he never meant for Neely to die from the restraint and "was praying that the police would come and take this situation over."

"I didn't want to be put in that situation but I couldn't just sit still and let let him carry out these threats," Penny concluded.

The incident sparked outrage across social media and Penny was painted as some kind of vigilante killer. The New York medical examiner's office ruled Neely's death a homicide and Penny now faces charges of manslaughter. Supporters of Penny created a fundraiser for his attorneys fees which has surpassed millions of dollars.

This is a breaking story and will be updated.
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