The ex-U.S. Marine, who is facing charges in the tragic incident involving a disturbed New York City subway rider, is witnessing an overwhelming outpouring of support for his legal defense fund.
Within 24 hours of its launch, the GiveSendGo account established for Daniel Penny has amassed close to $1 million, courtesy of approximately 21,000 generous donors.
“Daniel Penny is a twenty-four-year-old college student and decorated Marine veteran, facing a criminal investigation stemming from him protecting individuals on a NYC subway train from an assailant who later died,” says the site.
“Funds are being raised to pay Mr. Penny’s legal fees incurred from any criminal charges filed and any future civil lawsuits that may arise, as well as expenses related to his defense. All contributions are greatly appreciated,” it adds.
“Any proceeds collected which exceed those necessary to cover Mr. Penny’s legal defense will be donated to a mental health advocacy program in New York City.”
Penny was charged with second-degree manslaughter in the death of Jordan Neely, who went unconscious and passed away after being put into a chokehold by Penny when Neely began threatening to kill passengers in an NYC subway car.
Neely had a lengthy arrest record and suffered from mental issues that were left untreated in the Democrat-run Big Apple.
Penny’s attorneys released a statement on the death late last week, saying that their client “was involved in a tragic incident on the NYC Subway, which ended in the death of” Neely.
The statement, which was released by the law firm Raiser and Kenniff, P.C., added:
We would first like to express, on behalf of Daniel Penny, our condolences to those close to Mr. Neely. Mr. Neely had a documented history of violent and erratic behavior, the apparent result of ongoing and untreated mental illness. When Mr. Neely began aggressively threatening Daniel Penny and the other passengers, Daniel, with the help of others, acted to protect themselves, until help arrived. Daniel never intended to harm Mr. Neely and could not have foreseen his untimely death.
For too long, those suffering from mental illness have been treated with indifference. We hope that out of this awful tragedy will come a new commitment by our elected officials to address the mental health crisis on our streets and subways.
Freelance journalist Juan Alberto Vazquez, as well as a report from The New York Post, have provided accounts stating that witnesses observed Neely engaging in a confrontational tirade while in the subway on Monday afternoon.
Witnesses described his behavior as erratic and noted that he shouted aggressively, expressing a lack of concern about the possibility of being incarcerated.