Another Biker Charged In Washington Heights Melee
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — New charges were issued in the infamous motorcycle road rage incident on the Henry Hudson Parkway and in Washington Heights.
Robert Sims, 35, of Brooklyn was charged with first-degree gang assault, first-degree assault, and criminal possession of a weapon for his involvement in the melee last Sunday.
Sims’ next court appearance was set for October 10.
Another cyclist, Reginald Chance, also surrendered to police Friday. Law enforcement officials told CBS News that Chance is the helmet-wielding man who bashed in the front-side window of Lien’s Range Rover.
Police had released new pictures of Chance on Wednesday, showing him from the back with his helmet on and another blurry shot of his face.
Chance, 37, was charged with first degree gang assault, first degree assault, and criminal mischief.
On Saturday night the man described by police as the top cooperating witness in the case, Kevin Bresloff, was given a police escort home.
Bresloff, at times referred to as Kawasaki Kevin, provided investigators with the helmet cam video of the violence,CBS 2′s Dave Carlin reported.
Bresloff’s attorney said that his client has been threatened for turning the video over to investigators.
Meanwhile, police released surveillance image of another person wanted for questioning in the attack. He is seen standing with his helmet off over the sport-utility vehicle driver, as the driver lies on the pavement, 1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg reported.
Earlier this week, another suspect, Christopher Cruz, 28, was arraigned on misdemeanor charges of reckless driving and unlawful imprisonment.
Police have said he is the one seen at the start of the video cutting in front of Lien’s Range Rover, causing the initial collision. His defense lawyer, H. Benjamin Perez, has denied all the allegations.
Another biker, Allen Edwards, surrendered to police but was released without charges.
The latest arrest and search came as one of the key witnesses came forward.
“Everybody started screaming, ‘No, no, not the lady with the baby. Please don’t do that,’” said Sergio Consuegra, speaking with Anderson Cooper on CNN Friday night. “I screamed too.”
In the infamous video of the melee, Consuegra is seen with his hands outstretched, rushing to help.
Watch The Full Video Below: WARNING — GRAPHIC IMAGES
He said he was on his way to church when the Range Rover was surrounded by bikers.
“I stood between them and the man lying on the floor and I say to them, ‘That’s it. Let it go. Let it go, man. That’s it. It’s done.’ You know, don’t continue doing it. You’re going to kill the man,” Consuegra said.
On Saturday State Sen. Adriano Espaillat announced plans to publicly thank Consuegra on Sunday afternoon at 178th Street between Wadsworth and St. Nicholas Avenues where the incident occurred.
Police said Alexian Lien was driving his Range Rover with his wife and 2-year-old daughter in the car on Sunday when he was chased by dozens of bikers on the Henry Hudson Parkway.
The entire incident was captured on video by a biker’s helmet-mounted camera and later posted to YouTube.
It all started when police said one of the bikers appeared to deliberately slow down in front of Lien’s Range Rover and brake hard, forcing Lien to rear-end him.
That’s when other bikers surround the SUV. Police said some of the bikers began damaging the Range Rover, hitting it with their helmets and slashing its tires, though it’s not clear from the video.
Police said Lien was frightened and took off. He allegedly ran over Edwin “Jay” Mieses, a cyclist from Massachusetts, who has since been hospitalized with critical injuries.
After being chased by the bikers for nearly two miles, Lien was pulled out of his car and beaten when he got off the highway around West 178th Street and St. Nicholas Avenue, police said.
Lien ended up bloodied and needing stitches. His wife and daughter were left shaken.
And in a new twist to the saga, a law enforcement source confirmed that off-duty NYPD officers were in the pack of bikers.
The NYPD told 1010 WINS that Internal Affairs is investigating six officers who rode in the biker group.
A source said it is believed the officers took part in the physical assault on Lien, and the officers are not seen on video. However, one has retained a lawyer and is not commenting.
It was not immediately clear if the officers took part in the chase up the Henry Hudson Parkway that precipitated the attack on Lien.
One of the officers, an undercover narcotics detective, informed officials that he was at the scene at the time of the incident.
NYPD Internal Affairs is investigating, WCBS 880 reported.
Security Expert and Former Law Enforcement official Lou Palumbo told CBS 2 that officers who failed to intervene will likely face severe disciplinary action.
“Unfortunately in this instance it sounds like these were New York City police officers in the city of New York contributing to this problem. That’s what I think the real fear is, were they complicit in some way, did they contribute?” Palumbo said, “Departmental charges could come down with anything from conduct non becoming, failure to report, possibly even something contributory to the incident itself by not taking action and reporting. So this is going to continue to unfold.”
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