By JAKE OFFENHARTZ and BOBBY CAINA CALVAN
NEW YORK (AP) — A man who had been shouting at people aboard a New York City subway train died after fellow riders tackled him and one put him in a chokehold that lasted until his body went limp, according to police officials and video of the encounter.
Jordan Neely, 30, died from compression of the neck, the city’s medical examiner determined Wednesday.
Neely is recognizable to some New Yorkers as a Michael Jackson impersonator who regularly danced in the Times Square transit hub. On Monday afternoon, he was yelling and pacing back and forth on an F train in Manhattan, witnesses and police said, when he was restrained by at least three people, including a U.S. Marine veteran who pulled one arm tightly around his neck.
Video of the altercation posted online by a freelance journalist showed the man lying beneath Neely, holding him in a headlock position for several minutes as Neely tried and failed to break free. A second passenger pinned Neely’s arms while a third person held down his shoulder.
It was unclear why the group had moved to restrain him.
Neely, who is Black, lost consciousness during the struggle. EMTs and police arrived after the train stopped at a station. He was pronounced dead at a Manhattan hospital shortly after.
The 24-year-old Marine veteran, who appeared to be white, was taken into custody and released without charges. His name has not been released publicly.
The medical examiner’s office classified Neely’s death as a homicide and the manner as a chokehold but noted that any determination about criminal culpability would be left to the legal system.
The Manhattan district attorney’s office said it is investigating.