Jordan Neely's aunt believes Daniel Penny ‘should be punished’ for subway chokehold death
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Featured Image Credit: ABC News/Juan Vazquez
The aunt of Jordan Neely, the man who died after being choked on a New York subway, said she thought the man who choked him ought to be punished.
30-year-old Neely was northbound on the F train at Broadway-Lafayette station at around 2:30pm on 1 May, when passengers alleged that he started behaving erratically and made threats.
One of the other passengers on the train, 24-year-old former US marine, Daniel Penny, stepped in and things became physical, with Penny putting Neely in a chokehold which caused him to lose consciousness.
Footage from the incident appears to show Penny holding Neely for almost three minutes while he told passengers to call 911.
The 30-year-old was rushed off the train to Lennox Hill hospital where he was pronounced dead, with a medical examiner ruling that Neely's death was a homicide caused by compression on his neck.
Penny's lawyers have said that the 24-year-old claims he 'never intended' to cause harm, he reportedly told police that he was not trying to kill Neely and was instead intending to restrain him until police arrived.
The former marine was questioned by police and has since been charged with second degree manslaughter, which if he is found guilty, could land him in prison for up to 15 years.
Speaking to ABC for the first time since her nephew's death, Neely's aunt, Mildred Mahazu, said she thought Penny 'should be punished'.
She said: "Jordan was a very, very sweet person. He liked to be loved and he loved people, he was very, very, very friendly. He is a diamond in the ground.
"I think Daniel Penny, I think he should be punished. I'm not a judge, why would you put your hand around someone's neck and choke them when you know they'd die in two or three minutes, that means murder."
"As I still say I'm not a judge but he needs to make some time for that, he don't need to walk a free man."
While Penny has been charged with second degree manslaughter, he has been released on bond, with his lawyers saying his voluntary surrender to the police indicated he wasn't a flight risk.
They claimed that Neely had a 'documented history of violent and erratic behavior', and alleged that it was 'the apparent result of ongoing and untreated mental illness'. The statement went on to say that Penny 'could not have foreseen his untimely death'.
Attorneys representing members of Neely's family responded with their own statement.
They said: "Daniel Penny’s press release is not an apology nor an expression of regret.
"It is a character assassination and a clear example of why he believed he was entitled to take Jordan's life."
"The truth is he knew nothing about Jordan's history when he intentionally wrapped his arms around Jordan’s neck, and squeezed and kept squeezing."
"He never attempted to help him at all. In short, his actions on the train, and now his words, show why he needs to be in prison."