The legal team wasn’t wasting any time.
Lawyers for the former Marine involved in the fatal chokehold of a man on a New York subway last week are putting into play one of the basic truths of battle on any terrain: Sometimes the best defense is a good offense.
And Daniel Penny’s lawyers are setting out to prove it.
In a statement released on behalf of the 24-year-old, who has been publicly identified but not yet charged in the death of a mentally disturbed homeless man Monday aboard an F train, the law firm of Raiser and Kenniff put the blame for the incident on “indifference” to the dead man’s mental illness.
And in a phrasing sure to infuriate the protesters who are once again causing chaos in the Big Apple, the statement minced no words about Neely’s own past.
“Mr. Neely had a documented history of violent and erratic behavior, the apparent result of ongoing and untreated mental illness,” the statement said. “When Mr. Neely began aggressively threatening Daniel Penny and 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.”