Daniel Penny, the 24-year-old ex-Marine who choked the life from a homeless man on a subway train, turned himself in to New York Police Friday morning, and will be facing a court later Friday afternoon.
The Manhattan district attorney’s office confirmed that he would be arrested on a charge of second-degree manslaughter, for which the maximum penalty is 15 years in prison.
Penny’s lawyers said that he “turned himself in here voluntarily and with the sort of dignity and integrity that is characteristic of his dignity of service to this grateful nation,” and assured the press that Penny would be absolved of any wrongdoing.
Jordan Neely, the homeless man and former street performer, had a documented mental health history, according to police sources. Neely had been previously arrested for several incidents on the subway, though it’s unclear how many, if any, led to convictions.
According to authorities, witnesses told police that Neely was yelling and harassing passengers on the train.
Police also confirmed that Penny was not specifically being threatened by Neely when he intervened and that Neely had not become violent and had not been threatening anyone in particular.
Rev. Al Sharpton released a statement Friday morning calling the charges “one step closer to justice” for Neely.
“Let’s not forget that there were three people restraining him, and it is vital that the two others are also held accountable for their actions,” Sharpton said. “The justice system needs to send a clear, loud message that vigilantism has never been acceptable.”