In the early hours of Wednesday morning, Christopher Neely, the paternal relative of a subway altercation victim from earlier this month, faced yet another arrest. This time, he was apprehended on multiple charges of grand larceny, just moments before his scheduled court appearance.
On May 18, authorities in lower Manhattan detained Neely, a 44-year-old individual, for allegedly snatching a valuable pocketbook, valued at $15,000, from the back of a chair. These thefts reportedly transpired in both August and April of the previous year.
Adding to the existing 12 counts of grand larceny on his record, three additional charges were levied against him.
Following a disturbance aboard the Manhattan F Train on May 1, Daniel Penny, a former Marine, tragically placed a fatal chokehold on Neely’s nephew, Jordan, resulting in his untimely demise. This marked the second time in a fortnight that Neely found himself in custody, assuming the role of the family’s spokesperson.
On May 22, just outside the Port Authority Bus Terminal, Neely was arrested by the police under suspicion of purloining purses from various eateries and subsequently utilizing stolen credit cards at different establishments in Manhattan.
Considering Neely’s probation status for a 2019 conviction related to grand larceny at the time of his arrest, as well as an outstanding warrant for probation violation, prosecutors requested a bail amount of $10,000.
Ultimately, a judge granted Neely’s plea for supervised release after his defense counsel, Gurmeet Singh from the Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem, spoke about the profound impact of Jordan’s death on the family.
Singh stated in court, “It has been an immensely challenging and distressing experience for the family.” He added that Neely had been an unwavering source of support for the family, taking care of their needs.
Neely was slated to appear in Manhattan Criminal Court on Wednesday to confront the charges lodged against him. However, he was taken into custody by authorities prior to his court date.
During the court proceedings, Judge Josh Hanshaft queried Singh, “I don’t see Mr. Neely?”
According to Singh’s testimony, “Mr. Neely was apprehended this morning.” He is currently under arrest.
According to reports, on August 19, 2022, Neely, a married professional chess player hailing from Harlem, allegedly absconded with a woman’s wallet and subsequently accumulated charges totaling $8,650 on her credit cards.
Eight months later, on East 82nd Street, he purportedly snatched a wallet from another individual’s purse. Additionally, authorities assert that he pilfered a pocketbook worth $15,000 from a Mexican eatery situated on Church Street in Tribeca during the month of May.
Upon learning of the delay, Hanshaft rescheduled Neely’s case for July 19.
During Thursday morning’s hearing, Neely once again received supervised release despite facing grave charges.
After the hearing, a subdued Neely informed The Post in the lobby of Manhattan Criminal Court that his latest charge involved “old stuff” and had “nothing to do” with his late nephew.
Prosecutors claim that while on probation for grand larceny or criminal possession of stolen property, Neely was arrested a staggering 20 times between June 2022 and the present.
At Neely’s arraignment the previous week, Assistant District Attorney Evan Rufrano disclosed that three of these incidents were being prosecuted by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, while the remaining cases required further investigation.
Upon Neely’s arrest last week, Rufrano stated that seven credit cards were discovered in his possession, all registered under different names.
After attempting to evade a member of the NYPD’s pickpocket squad, Neely was eventually apprehended by the police near the bus station.
In 2019, following his grand larceny conviction, Neely received a six-month prison sentence and was subsequently placed on probation for a period of five years.