Former U.S. attorney says prosecution of Daniel Penny meant "to warn every potential good Samaritan"

 June 18, 2023

Former Marine Daniel Penny was indicted on second-degree manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide last week over his fatal confrontation with Jordan Neely, a homeless man with a history of committing serious violence.

According to former United States Attorney Andrew McCarthy, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg's decision to prosecute Penny is a calculated political move rather than a legal error. 

Bragg seeks "to warn every potential good Samaritan"

"The incident on the train happened because Neely — a dangerous, mentally disturbed felon — was threatening passengers," McCarthy recalled.

He pointed out that the deceased "had over 40 prior arrests, and had recently been released from a stint in the slammer for viciously punching a 67-year-old woman in the face at the Bowery train station in Greenwich Village, breaking her nose and orbital bone."

"Under these circumstances, Penny, a 24-year-old former Marine infantry officer, stepped up to defend himself and the other passengers," McCarthy stressed.

Yet the former prosecutor noted that it is now Penny who finds himself facing the prospect of decades in, something Bragg hopes will send a message.

"The in terrorem effect is to warn every potential good Samaritan who might come to the aide of vulnerable people under attack," McCarthy wrote.

Columnist found no help when man threatened to rape her

"If you dare do that, you will be prosecuted aggressively by the guy who strains to avoid prosecuting actual criminals," he added.

Meanwhile, New York Post columnist Rikki Schlott expressed fear in a piece published last Wednesday that Bragg's message will be heard loud and clear.

She spoke of how "a disturbed man" recently chased her into a pharmacy while "shouting obscenities and threatening to rape me."

Although Schlott initially believed that she had found "safety in numbers among the roughly two dozen people in the store," that turned out not to be the case.

"I don’t blame New Yorkers for thinking twice"

"When a disturbed man chased me into a crowded pharmacy in Union Square — shouting obscenities and threatening to rape me — I thought I’d find safety in numbers among the roughly two dozen people in the store."

"I desperately tried to make eye contact with someone. But everyone in the store — patrons, employees, even a uniformed security guard — averted their eyes and kept to themselves," the columnist explained.

"Thankfully, I was able to dart past him after brandishing pepper spray. What scared me more than the encounter itself was the lack of willingness to help," she stated

"Now, after Neely’s tragic and undoubtedly controversial death, I fear even more bystanders will choose to look away when someone is in need. I don’t blame New Yorkers for thinking twice before getting involved," Schlott went on to conclude.

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