‘America’s got his back’: Defense fund for Marine vet charged in NYC tops $1M with boost from DeSantis

Americans pitched in their support to “stop the Left’s pro-criminal agenda” by lifting the legal defense fund for U.S. Marine Corps vet Daniel Penny to a new seven-figure milestone while those who know him best spoke out against his persecution.

Charged with second-degree manslaughter for the May 1 death of Jordan Neely on a New York City subway, corporate media has vilified Penny while portraying the decedent as little more than a hapless bystander to self-righteous vigilantism. While the veteran’s fate remains up to the justice system, family and friends spoke with the New York Post about how the Marine “who could always be counted on” was being “railroaded.”

“It’s disgusting. Here’s a young man who served our country. What about the other two gentlemen on the subway who were helping him [restrain Neely]? They haven’t even been named,” Penny’s cousin, Justine Baldwin, told the Post.

“He was always there for his family and his sisters, especially,” she noted of the 24-year-old who was raised with three sisters in West Islip, New York. “Danny has always been calm, he comes from a calm family.”

He was a “handsome, fun kid who could always be counted on when you needed help,” she added.

Now, when Penny found himself most in need of help, a crowdfunding page was created on his behalf and a fellow veteran used his own considerable platform to direct the public toward it.

“We must defeat the Soros-Funded DAs, stop the Left’s pro-criminal agenda, and take back the streets for law abiding citizens,” wrote Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) on Twitter Friday with a link to GiveSendGo. “We stand with Good Samaritans like Daniel Penny. Let’s show this Marine…America’s got his back.”

Since that post, the legal defense fund with over 30,000 donations, ranging from $5 to $1,000, had neared $1.5 million and briefly crashed the servers for the website.

“UPDATE: We have had a big surge in our traffic and our servers were temporarily overwhelmed. We are aware and are a few minutes from resolving the issue. The campaign for Daniel Penny is over 1 million dollars and the money is secure,” GiveSendGo tweeted out an update Saturday afternoon.

In looking at Penny’s life, the Post spoke of the high school athlete’s suburban youth with friends, whose grandfather had served in the U.S. Navy and uncles in the Merchant Marines. Of his own service, which was said to last four years before a 2021 honorable discharge at the rank of sergeant, the veteran’s own online writings detailed his quest for identity inspired by Miguel de Cervantes’ novel “Don Quixote.”

“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,” Penny wrote.

“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,” the young man who had backpacked across Central America had written.

“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,” he wrote.

After being released on $100,000 bail following his arraignment Friday, his willingness to “serve and connect” was reciprocated with donations that the defense fund noted, “All contributions are greatly appreciated. Any proceeds collected which exceed those necessary to cover Mr. Penny’s legal defense will be donated to a mental health advocacy program in New York City.”




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