biographical data

Daniel Penny biography: 13 things about US Marine Corps veteran from Long Island, New York


Daniel James Penny is a United States Marine Corps veteran who was born in Long Island, New York, USA. He describes himself as adventurous, charismatic and authentic in an online profile.

“Growing up here in New York, I have always been inspired by the ambition and grit,” Penny wrote in the profile. “After high school and unsure of my future, I enlisted in the Marine Corps in search of adventure. While serving as squad leader on two deployments, I began to realize what I was passionate about.”


“I loved helping, communicating, and connecting to different people from all over the world,” Penny continued. For him, Manhattan, New York City, New York is the center of the world and bartending there “would be an extremely fulfilling position”.

“Being able to serve and connect with the most interesting and eccentric the world has to offer, is what I believe I am meant to do,” Penny wrote. Here are 13 more things about him:

  1. He is a resident of West Islip, Suffolk County, Long Island.
  2. He is a surfing enthusiast.
  3. He has visited trails across Honduras and different parts of the U.S. including Connecticut, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Rhode Island and Vermont.
  4. He previously worked at a burger restaurant and as a sales associate for a surf shop.
  5. He was 6 years younger than former Michael Jackson impersonator Jordan Neely.
  6. In 2015, he was given the Most Valuable Player award as a lacrosse player in West Islip High School in West Islip.
  7. In 2017, he graduated from West Islip High School. Shortly after his graduation, he joined the U.S. Marine Corps. He served as an infantryman and a sergeant. His last duty assignment was at the U.S. Marine Corps base camp LeJeune in Jacksonville, North Carolina.
  8. From December 2017 to July 2019, the U.S. Marine Corps deployed him in the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit across the Mediterranean.
  9. In June 2021, he left the U.S. Marine Corps. According to him, he enrolled in college after the military but he felt completely unfulfilled. He wrote in an online profile, “I decided to drop out of school and backpack throughout Central America. This decision was inspired by the novel Don Quixote; Don Quixote so inspired by adventure, he leaves his ‘normal” life to pursue his dreams despite being called a madman. During the travels I rediscovered my love for interacting and connecting with people.”
  10. At around 2:30 p.m. on May 1, 2023, he was wearing a hat with an Australian surf brand logo and a sweatshirt from a surf shop in Long Island while aboard an F train in Manhattan. That afternoon, Juan Alberto Vazquez took a video of him putting Neely in a chokehold for at least 15 minutes while two other men held Neely to the floor of the train car. Neely lost consciousness and was pronounced dead at Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan shortly afterwards. He was taken into custody and later released. At the time, he was employed as a bartender in Manhattan.
  11. On May 1, 2023, his attorney Thomas Kenniff of Raiser & Keniff, a law firm is based in Mineola, Nassau County, Long Island, issued a statement, suggesting he acted in self defense and never intended to harm Neely on May 1, 2023.
  12. Just after 8:00 a.m. on May 12, 2023, he surrendered to police in Manhattan. Accompanied by Kenniff, he appeared before a judge at Manhattan Criminal Court and was charged with second-degree manslaughter.
  13. He was 24 years old when he was released on May 12, 2023 on $100,000 cash bail. He was ordered to turn over his passport and prohibited from leaving New York. His next court appearance is on July 17, 2023.

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