Kid Rock Steps Up in a Big Way to Help Marine Vet Charged in Subway Death


OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.

Kid Rock, real name Robert Ritchie, has stepped in to come to the aid of a Marine veteran who has been charged with manslaughter in the death of serial subway agitator Jordan Neely.

Neely, who had more than 40 arrests to his name and a history of mental issues, and who recently pleaded guilty to attempting to kidnap a 7-year-old child, was reportedly threatening passengers this month when Marine Veteran Daniel Penny stepped in.

Penny, along with two other men, restrained Neely who insisted he was not afraid to go to prison, which could be because he was arrested and released more than 40 times.

It was Penny who placed a chokehold on Neely, which proved to be fatal.

After mounting public pressure and protests Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who is the same district attorney who is prosecuting former President Donald Trump, charged Penny with manslaughter.


Kid Rock, and others, have chipped into a GiveSendGo fundraiser for Penny’s legal expenses that has reached more than $2.1 million.

Rock donated $5,000 with the message “Mr. Penny is a hero. Alvin Bragg is a POS. Kid Rock.”

The organizers have said that any funds that are not used in Penny’s defense would be given to mental health programs in New York City.

Bragg filed criminal charges against the white former Marine who held a black man with a history of violence and mental health issues in a chokehold earlier this month after he made threatening actions on a New York subway.

On Friday, 24-year-old Penny turned himself into authorities for charges connected to Jordan Neely’s death. The decision to charge Penny came from Bragg’s office, according to NBC 4 in New York.

ABC Correspondent CeFaan Kim said on Twitter that Penny will face a charge of Manslaughter in the Second Degree.

On Wednesday, the New York City medical examiner officially confirmed that Neely’s cause of death was attributed to a “chokehold.” The ME categorized the incident as a “homicide,” but further legal proceedings would be required to establish intent or culpability.

Penny’s attorneys released a statement on the death late last week, saying that their client  “was involved in a tragic incident on the NYC Subway, which ended in the death of Jordan Neely.”


The statement, which was released by the law firm Raiser and Kenniff, P.C., added:

We would first like to express, on behalf of Daniel Penny, our condolences to those close to Mr. Neely. Mr. Neely had a documented history of violent and erratic behavior, the apparent result of ongoing and untreated mental illness. When Mr. Neely began aggressively threatening Daniel Penny and the other passengers, Daniel, with the help of others, acted to protect themselves, until help arrived. Daniel never intended to harm Mr. Neely and could not have foreseen his untimely death.

For too long, those suffering from mental illness have been treated with indifference. We hope that out of this awful tragedy will come a new commitment by our elected officials to address the mental health crisis on our streets and subways.

According to freelance journalist Juan Alberto Vazquez and a report from The New York Post, witnesses recounted that on Monday afternoon, Neely engaged in an aggressive rant while in the subway. Witnesses described him as behaving erratically and reportedly heard him shouting that he was unconcerned about going to jail.


NYC Mayor Eric Adams said at a press conference Thursday that “Jordan Neely did not deserve to die.” But some others who were in the subway car during the May 1 incident were grateful that Penny responded to protect them and himself.

“I hope he has a great lawyer, and I’m praying for him,” a 66-year-old woman, who did not want to be identified, told The Post Thursday evening.

“And I pray that he gets treated fairly, I really do. Because after all of this ensued, I went back and made sure that I said, ‘thank you’ to him,” she said.

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