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Grand jury could get case next week of New York man choked to death on subway

Sources: Subway death set to go to grand jury
Chokehold death of man on New York City subway set to go to grand jury, sources say 00:22

The case involving a New York man who was choked to death on a subway train is likely to go to a grand jury next week, law enforcement sources told CBS News Friday.

A grand jury would determine whether criminal charges should be brought against the subway rider who put 30-year-old Jordan Neely in a chokehold on May 1, apparently to restrain him after witnesses said Neely began acting erratically.

The man who is seen placing the chokehold on Neely is 24-year-old Marine veteran Daniel Penny, who was questioned by New York City police and later released, according to CBS New York.

In a statement released Friday evening by his attorneys, Penny expressed condolences to those close to Neely. The statement claims that Neely had "a documented history of violent and erratic behavior, the apparent result of ongoing and untreated mental illness."

It also said Penny "never intended to harm Mr. Neely and could not have foreseen his untimely death."

Neely's death was listed as a homicide by the New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner on Wednesday.

"This is a solemn and serious matter that ended in the tragic loss of Jordan Neely's life. As part of our rigorous ongoing investigation, we will review the Medical Examiner's report, assess all available video and photo footage, identify and interview as many witnesses as possible, and obtain additional medical records," the Manhattan District Attorney's Office said in a statement. 

CBS New York obtained video of the incident, in which the 24-year-old man can be seen putting Neely in a chokehold for several minutes.

Two other riders are seen trying to restrain Neely's arms before all three let him go, leaving Neely motionless on the floor.

Police sources told CBS New York that Neely had been acting erratically on the train, allegedly throwing trash and yelling at passengers.

CBS New York was told the 24-year-old stepped in to try to quell him, and things got physical. Police told CBS News it wasn't clear who the aggressor was. Sources say the younger man put Neely in a chokehold while telling those around them to call 911. 

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