NYPD: Biker Arrested, Another Surrenders In Attack On SUV Driver
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — One of the stunt bikers run over by a frightened motorist on the Henry Hudson Parkway this past weekend was apparently paralyzed Tuesday, while two suspects in the subsequent attack on the motorist were in police custody.
As CBS 2’s Tony Aiello reported, one of the suspects was arrested, while another surrendered to police, after the attack on the driver by bikers who chased Alexian Lien’s Range Rover sport-utility vehicle through Manhattan.
Biker Christopher Cruz, 28, has been charged with reckless endangerment, reckless driving, endangering the welfare of a child and menacing, police said. He was awaiting arraignment on Tuesday.
The second man who turned himself in to police was suspected of punching out the windshield of the Range Rover. He had not been charged as of Tuesday night.
Police said they were looking to make more arrests as they sort through the chaos, which was all captured on video.
Meanwhile, biker Edwin Mieses, an aspiring rapper from outside Boston, was in a medically induced coma Tuesday with crushed legs and serious internal injuries as a result of being run over by the SUV.
“There’s no hope for his back,” said his wife, Dayana Mejia-Meises. “They crushed his spine — broke it in two different places — so he will be forever, forever paralyzed.”
Mieses was hurt in the road rage incident Sunday afternoon as hundreds of stunt bikers led an unauthorized rally.
Mejia-Mieses said her husband got off his motorcycle to help a fellow biker who was hit in the initial collision.
“When all the bikers stopped, my husband got out, parked his bike to walk over to try to help his friend. He walked over towards the front of the vehicle when, at this point, I don’t know what happened the man was scared, the man just peeled off and ran over my husband,” she told WBZ-TV.
Mieses said her husband has injuries to his heart, lungs and ribs and that he is paralyzed from the waist down. The couple has two children, ages 15 and 9.
“That man paralyzed my husband,” Mieses said about Lien. “He needs to pay for what he did.”
Mieses works in studio engineering in the music business, CBS-owned WBZ-TV, Boston reported. Friends call him Jay Meezee and have created a Facebook page for him.
SUV driver Lien, 33, has not faced any charges in the incident. Police said fear that his family was in danger prompted his actions.
But as more New Yorkers watched the video, many said both sides are to blame.
“It wasn’t the right thing to do, not by the driver of the Range Rover nor by the motorcyclist guys,” Edison Lendof, of Inwood, told CBS 2’s Jessica Schneider.
“Whose fault is it? I don’t know!” said Lisa Zarzuela, of Astoria, Queens, after being shown the video.
The Shocking Attack
The shocking scene Sunday was captured by a Go-Pro camera worn by one of the bikers. Mieses was seen on a green motorcycle, just as Lien’s Range Rover appeared to bump into another bike driven by suspect Cruz.
Watch The Full Video Below: WARNING — GRAPHIC IMAGES
During the rides, bikers at the back of the pack often slow down to delay traffic. The move allows bikers at the front of the pack to take off, go fast, and perform stunts — but can lead to frustration for motorists.
In the video, some of the bikers are seen getting off their motorcycles and approaching the car. That was when police said some of the bikers begin damaging the Range Rover, though it’s not clear from the video.
“They take their helmets and they start to dent his car and apparently his tires are slashed there,” Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said.
Police said Lien panicked and the video shows the SUV suddenly accelerating, plowing over some of the motorcycles.
For the next several minutes of the video, the bikers can be seen chasing the Range Rover for about two miles. At one point, the SUV stops and one of the bikers is seen in the video ripping open the driver’s side door as the Range Rover speeds off.
The SUV eventually gets off the highway around West 178th Street and St. Nicholas Avenue, police said.
As Lien gets stuck in traffic, the bikers surround him again, police said. One of the riders is seen in the video jumping off his bike, ripping off his helmet and using it to bash in the driver’s side window.
A second biker is also seen running up and hitting the driver’s side rear window with his fists.
At this point the video stops, but police said the attack continues.
Kelly said Lien is taken out of his car and assaulted.
Witnesses described what they saw.
“He got off his bike and started attacking the person in the Range Rover with his helmet, breaking the windows and after they got him out of his car, they beat him up,” said witness Christopher Quinones.
Lien was taken to the hospital where he needed stitches to his face. His wife and child were unhurt.
Police said one biker suffered two broken legs and other severe injuries when the SUV ran over him while another suffered a leg injury.
He was with his wife and infant daughter, and police said his fear they were in danger influenced his actions.
But Mejia-Mieses said the fact that he Lien has not been held accountable is a travesty.
“What’s more annoying is that he’s getting away with it,” Mejia-Mieses said. “What’s more annoying is that everyone is trying to blame the bikers for something that he did.”
But on Tuesday, Commissioner Kelly held open the possibility that Lien might be charged.
“You have to look at the totality of the circumstances and that’s what we’re doing,” Kelly said.
Kelly said the video is invaluable evidence of helping them sort through a complex set of actions and reactions.
Police said the bikers were part of a group called the “Hollywood Stuntz.” This was apparently part of an annual ride designed to draw attention and make it into Times Square.
“This is a major stunt event where motorcyclists from various locations come together,” Kelly said. “Quite frankly it wasn’t on anybody’s radar screen last year. We were aware of it this year.”
As 1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria reported, Kelly said Tuesday that the bikers caused other problems besides the road rage incident. A total of 200 people complained to police Sunday that the bikers were being reckless on Manhattan streets, Kelly said.
The cyclists caused plenty of problems last year too, Kelly said.
“Last year, they came over 1,000 cyclists to be somewhat disruptive,” Kelly said. “They rode on the sidewalk – that sort of thing.”
In order to prevent the group from heading into Times Square this year, police set up checkpoints throughout the city. Kelly said during that effort, 15 arrests were made, 68 summonses were issued, and 55 motorcycles were confiscated.
The NYPD released a photo Tuesday of two bikers who investigators said were part of the melee. One driver has a Guyana flag on the tail end of his bike and the other has a black and white design, police said. Police said they were wanted for assault.
Police said Lien had called 911 to report the bikers were driving erratically.
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), visit CrimeStoppers.com or by text tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.
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