Man dies on NYC subway after being placed in chokehold by fellow passenger

Video of the deadly encounter shows the 30-year-old man being restrained by a 24-year-old U.S. Marine veteran.

A man who was reportedly behaving
A man who was reportedly behaving "erratically" is restrained by a passenger on the subway in New York City on Monday. (Juan Alberto Vázquez/Luces de Nueva York via Storyful)

A man who was acting “erratically” on a New York City subway is dead after another passenger put him in a chokehold, police and witnesses say.

The New York City medical examiner determined that Jordan Neely, 30, died from compression of the neck, the Associated Press reported.

Here’s everything we know about the deadly encounter, culled from original reporting and trusted partners, including the New York Daily News, CBS News and others.

How it unfolded

A man who was reportedly behaving
A man who was reportedly behaving "erratically" is restrained by a chokehold. (Juan Alberto Vázquez/Luces de Nueva York via Storyful)

According to the Daily News, the incident began around 2:30 p.m. on Monday when a man identified as Neely, who “used to busk in the subway as a Michael Jackson impersonator,” was on an uptown F train when he began yelling and screaming, passengers told police.

Neely “yelled and threw garbage at commuters,” prompting another man, identified as a 24-year-old Marine veteran, to intervene.

“I don’t have food, I don’t have to drink, I’m fed up,” Neely screamed, according to Juan Alberto Vázquez, a freelance journalist and fellow passenger. “I don’t mind going to jail and getting life in prison. I’m ready to die.”

Video shows chokehold

A man is restrained on a New York subway.
Juan Alberto Vázquez/Luces de Nueva York via Storyful

Video footage of the encounter taken by Vázquez and posted to Facebook shows Neely, who was Black, flailing his arms as he is restrained in a chokehold by the veteran, who is white. Two other men are seen standing over Neely in the three-minute video, pushing his arms away as he remains in the chokehold.

The three men then let go of Neely, who is seen lying motionless on the floor of the train.

According to Vázquez, Neely was in the chokehold for nearly 15 minutes before he lost consciousness.

"I witnessed a murder on the Manhattan subway today," Vázquez wrote on Facebook.

When police arrived, Neely was unresponsive and first responders were unable to revive him. He was then taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The 24-year-old was taken in for questioning and released.

What’s next?

Video footage shows a man  flailing his arms as he is restrained.
Video footage shows a man flailing his arms as he is restrained. (Juan Alberto Vázquez/Luces de Nueva York via Storyful)

Homeless advocates are calling for a thorough investigation of Neely's death.

In a statement, Dave Giffen, executive director of Coalition for the Homeless, said that “this horrific incident is yet another reminder” of the “complete failure [by New York Gov. Kathy Hochul and New York City Mayor Eric Adams] to provide the critical mental health services desperately needed by so many people in our city.”

“What’s more, the fact that someone who took the life of a distressed, mentally-ill human being on a subway could be set free without facing any consequences is shocking,” Giffen added, “and evidences the City’s callous indifference to the lives of those who are homeless and psychiatrically unwell. This is an absolute travesty that must be investigated immediately.”

Statistically speaking, though, crime in New York City is actually on the decline.

According to data released by the New York Police Department, murders, shootings and serious incidents of subway crime all decreased in February when compared with the numbers of such incidents in the same month last year.