New York subway passenger strangles ‘aggressive’ homeless man in chokehold
A video has shown a passenger strangling an “aggressive” homeless man to death in a chokehold on a New York City subway.
The video, filmed by journalist Juan Alberto Vazquez, shows a man identified as Jordan Neely, 30, ranting aggressively and throwing his jacket on the ground when the commuter intervenes.
The passenger, whose name has not been released by police, pinned Neely to the ground in a chokehold for approximately 15 minutes, leaving him unconscious.
The incident occurred on Monday afternoon in the northbound Manhattan subway, according to police and Mr Vazquez.
The train was stopped at the Broadway-Lafayette Street/Bleeker Street station, where the conductor called 911. The man, who was rushed to hospital afterwards, did not survive.
In the video, the subway rider can be seen lying on the floor of the train with his arm wrapped around Neely’s neck.
Another bystander could be seen helping hold Neely down on the floor of the subway train.
The passenger was taken into custody but later released without charges.
The man is a Marine veteran, reported the New York Post, citing sources.
The investigation is ongoing, and authorities are awaiting autopsy results before deciding whether to pursue charges against the younger man.
Neely reportedly had a history of mental health issues and was homeless. However, according to Mr Vazquez, he had not physically attacked anyone before the passenger intervened.
“The disturbed man did not seem to want to attack anyone,” he wrote in a post in Spanish. “A young man with brown hair and a grey jacket grabbed him from behind the neck and pinned him to the floor while holding him with his legs.”
Mr Vazquez expressed mixed feelings to the New York Post about the encounter, saying citizens should use moderation when intervening in situations like this.
“I think that in one sense it’s fine that citizens want to jump in and help. But I think as heroes we have to use moderation,” he said.
“This would never have happened if the police had shown up within five minutes. Then we’d be talking about a true hero. It’s complicated.”