A YouTube video of a disturbing confrontation between an SUV driver and group of motorcyclists on the West Side Highway has captivated the country — and left law enforcement officials in New York City busy. The video, taken from a camera mounted on a bikers helmet, shows the attack on the car and the beating of its driver. To date, nine suspects have been arrested for their alleged involvement in the beating of SUV driver Alexian Lien, including an undercover police officer. There are a lot of players and suspects involved in the case — here is a breakdown of those involved.
Alexian Lien, 33, The SUV Driver
The story starts with Alexian Lien, 33, who was celebrating his wedding anniversary with his wife, Rosalyn Ng, and their 2-year-old daughter just before the incident occurred on Sept. 29. Police said the family was driving on the West Side Highway when they were surrounded by the large group of bikers. After the group of motorcyclists approached his car, they began to dent it with their helmets. Lien then hit the gas, driving over three of the bikers. For the next couple of minutes in the video, the bikers are seen chasing the Range Rover through Manhattan until about the 4:50 mark, when traffic forces the car to slow down. That’s when a biker can be seen running up to the SUV and yanking open the driver’s side door as Lien again guns the engine in an attempt to get away, knocking over a bike as it speeds off. He was taken to Columbia Presbyterian where he received stitches for cuts to his face and was released, police said. He will not face any charges, authorities said.
Edwin “Jay” Mieses Jr., 32
Biker Edwin “Jay” Mieses Jr., an aspiring rapper from Lawrence, Mass., suffered the worst injuries of those struck by Lien as he attempted to drive away from the crowd of motorcycles. Both of Mieses’ legs were broken and he suffered a spine injury that his family said will leave him paralyzed. His wife, Dayana 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 said. Mieses has two children, ages 15 and 9. Lien and his wife said in a statement that they did what they had to do to escape danger: “Our sympathies go out to the injured motorcyclist and his family. However, we were faced with a life-threatening situation and my husband was forced under the circumstances to take the actions that he did in order to protect the lives of our entire family.”
Christopher Cruz, 28
Cruz is the biker seen on the video cutting in front of Alexian Lien’s Range Rover and slowing down, forcing the SUV to bump his motorcycle’s rear tire — a move that police said sparked the confrontation between Lien and the bikers. He was arrested on Oct. 1 on charges of unlawful imprisonment and reckless driving. The Passaic, N.J., resident is free on bail and the only suspect who has spoken to the media. On “Good Morning America,” Cruz insisted he was not brake-checking Lien. “I don’t think I feel responsible, but I do feel badly for the family that got hurt,” Cruz said. He claimed he was trying to change lanes and was looking over his shoulder to keep track of his fellow bikers. Cruz’s license was suspended and the judge ordered him to turn over his passport.
Wojciech Braszczok, 32, 10-Year NYPD Veteran
Braszczok, one of at least three officers who participated in the ride, surrendered to face riot and criminal mischief charges. He is from Queens. Braszczok, a married father of two, has worked in the NYPD’s intelligence division, quietly infiltrating and investigating. According to CBS News correspondent John Miller, Braszczok allegedly told authorities the he pulled up to scene after beating. “There are legitimate questions about if you’re deep undercover, should you have exposed yourself and intervened in the middle of it,” Miller said. “One of his accounts says ‘by the time I thought that through, it was already over.’ But on the other hand, that doesn’t explain why they didn’t come forward right away.” Assistant District Attorney Samantha Turino told Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Tamiko Amaker that witness video showed Braszczok joining in on the attack on the SUV. Meanwhile, Braszczok’s lawyer says video of the incident will exonerate his client.
Reginald Chance, 37
Reginald Chance is the helmet-wielding man who bashed in the front-side window of the Range Rover before allegedly yanking out Lien and beating him in front of his wife and child, officials said. After the video was cut off, police believe Chance pulled Lien out of the vehicle and took part in a gang assault. Prosecutors identified Chance by his black leather jacket with a silver emblem, according to a criminal complaint. Chance has 20 arrests including this incident, according to the NYPD. The prior arrests were for robbery and multiple criminal drug possessions. At his arraignment, Chance raised both middle fingers as he faced a judge for the first time.
Clint Caldwell, 32
The Brooklyn resident was taken into custody on Oct. 8 and charged with gang assault. Police say Caldwell pulled Lien from the SUV. Caldwell’s attorney said his prosecutors were mistaking client for another biker.
Craig Wright, 29
Canarsie resident Craig Wright was arraigned on charges of gang assault and unlawful imprisonment on Oct. 8. The district attorney said Wright punched Lien through a broken window and then joined in stomping him on the street after he was pulled out of his Range Rover in Washington Heights.
Robert Sims, 35
Robert Sims, 35, of Brooklyn, was arraigned on charges including gang assault. Sims is seen in the video opening Lien’s driver’s side door in the middle of the Henry Hudson Parkway, police said. His lawyer, Luther Williams, said Sims denies the charges. The NYPD said he has two prior arrests: In 1998, he was arrested for criminal possession of a controlled substance, possessing a loaded weapon and menacing. In 2002, he was arrested for grand larceny and criminal possession of stolen property after he was discovered driving a stolen car.
James Kuehne, 31
31-year-old James Kuehne was arrested Oct. 9 on charges of gang assault, assault, criminal mischief and criminal possession of a weapon charges.
Kaliq Douglas, 28
Jason Brown, 40
Police have charged 40-year-old Jason Brown of Brooklyn with felony assault and gang assault. He allegedly struck SUV driver Alexian Lien with his helmet after bikers chased Lien off the Henry Hudson Parkway.
Bresloff, the biker who shot the video from his helmet, is described by police as the top cooperating witness in the case. Bresloff, at times referred to as “Kawasaki Kevin,” provided investigators with the helmet cam video of the violence. Bresloff’s attorney said that his client has been threatened for turning the video over to investigators.
Samir Gonsalves, Narcotics Detective
Samir Gonsalves is another undercover officer caught up in the incident. No charges have been brought against Gonsalves as of yet, though investigators are questioning his role in the incident. He made news in April when he was arrested for allegedly pushing an officer who was trying to break up an argument between Gonsalves and his girlfriend.
Allen Edwards, 32
Edwards, 32, was one of the bikers who banged on Lien’s window, police said. He turned himself in on Oct. 1, but charges were dropped by the district attorney’s office.
Sergio Consuegra, 52, Good Samaritan
Sergio Consuegra, a good Samaritan who intervened in the melee, was hailed by city officials as a hero. Consuegra said he was walking to church Sept. 29 when he saw the Range Rover stop in Washington Heights and a bunch of motorcyclists approach. He said he then stepped in and told the bikers: “That’s it, guys. Let it go.” He said he shouted the same thing to a biker who was trying to pull the driver’s wife out of the SUV. Then, Consuegra said, he huddled over Lien to protect him, staring down the bikers face to face.