The Marine Corps veteran who is facing manslaughter charges after an altercation with a crazed transient aboard a New York City subway train is speaking out publicly for the first time since the death of Jordan Neely.
Daniel Penny rejected allegations that he acted as an aggressive vigilante in a Saturday interview with the New York Post and strongly denied that race played any factor in the incident.
“This had nothing to do with race,” Penny said of his interaction with Neely.
“I judge a person based on their character. I’m not a white supremacist."
Penny restrained Neely aboard the F subway train -- acting in concert with a group of passengers as Neely began expressing violent threats and stating that he'd go to prison.
Witnesses aboard the train have defended Penny's actions, even calling him a "hero" who saved other passengers from injury at the hands of Neely.
NEW: Witness to the Jordan Neely subway death breaks silence with new details as she is calling Marine Daniel Penny a 'hero' for protecting her and other passengers.
"Mr. Penny cared for people. That’s what he did. That is his crime."
"It was self-defense, and I believe in my… pic.twitter.com/4SpufEzBxY
— Collin Rugg (@CollinRugg) May 18, 2023
Penny avoided discussion of the subway altercation in the Post interview -- citing his own legal interests.
The veteran was slapped with second-degree manslaughter charges by progressive Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg after Neely's death.
Penny's lawyer Thomas Kenniff is pointing to Neely's own history of violent behavior and arrests aboard the subway as evidence establishing the mentally ill transient as the aggressor.
“I can tell you that the threats, the menacing, the terror that Jordan Neely introduced to that train has already been well documentedm," Kenniff said.
"There are numerous witnesses from all different walks of life who have absolutely no motive to do anything other than to recount what actually happened. They are uniform in their recollection of events.”
Penny expressed sadness over Neely's death -- lamenting how the altercation could've been prevented had "the system" not failed him.
"It’s tragic what happened to him. Hopefully, we can change the system that’s so desperately failed us.”
However, the veteran stood by his decision to intervene with a group of passengers onboard the subway train, confirming he'd do it again.
"I would — if there was a threat and danger in the present.”
Penny broke down his own personal background in the interview, recounting his service in the Marines.
The 24-year old man is an architecture student at a university in New York City.
He revealed himself as a native of West Islip, a town in Long Island.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.