***Scroll down for updates***
A video of a frightening road rage incident in New York City went viral this week, and so far two people have been charged in the incident.
On the video, an SUV is driving down the street, and is surrounded by motorcyclists. At one point, you can see one of the motorcyclists move into the SUV’s lane, looking into the driver’s side window. The biker then cuts in front of the SUV and then slows down. It’s not apparent on the video, but the SUV then bumps into the motorcycle.
About 20 – 30 bikers then swarm the SUV, stopping in front of it to block its path. Some of the bikers get off their bikes and start hitting the vehicle. The SUV suddenly accelerates in an apparent attempt to escape, and hits at least one biker on the way. The bikers then chase the SUV for about 2.5 miles, until they get stuck in traffic. The bikers then surround the SUV, with one man using his helmet to smash through the driver’s side window.
The video ends there, but according to police, the bikers then pulled the driver, 33-year-old Alexian Lien, out of the car and beat him. Alexian’s wife and two-year-old child were in the vehicle, but were unhurt. You can watch the full video below. (Warning: It’s pretty disturbing)
Alexian was taken to the hospital, and received stitches on his face.
The motorcyclist who was hit is still in the hospital with a broken back and according to his wife, will be “forever paralyzed.” She also explains the incident from her husband’s side, saying that he had initially stopped and got off his bike to assist the first biker that the SUV hit. He was then struck by the SUV after it tried to flee. She believes charges should be brought against Alexian, but police say that is not likely.
Charges have been brought to two of the bikers, however, and more charges are expected. The biker involved in the initial incident, 28-year-old Christopher Cruz, (the one who was riding alongside the SUV and then stopped in front of it) was charged with reckless endangerment, reckless driving, endangering the welfare of a child and menacing. A second biker, 42-year-old Allen Edwards, turned himself into police yesterday and was charged with reckless endangerment, criminal mischief and menacing.
Police are apparently still looking for the biker who smashed in the SUV’s window with his helmet.
As for why no charges are being brought against Alexian, it seems as though police believe he was in fear for not only his life, but for the life of his wife and two-year-old, who were both in the vehicle with him.
UPDATE: 10/1/13 11:43 AM
CNN is reporting that the charges against 42-year-old Allen Edwards have been dropped.
UPDATE: 10/5/13 7:50 AM
Two more bikers have been taken into custody. The man on the video who was seen smashing the SUV’s window is 38-year-old Reginald Chance, of Brooklyn. He surrendered to police late last night.
Earlier in the day, 35-year-old Robert Sims surrendered to police. Investigators believe Robert was the one who grabbed the SUV’s door.
Charges are pending.
UPDATE: 10/6/13 7:17 AM
Below is a picture that was released by Edwin Mieses’ attorney. Edwin is the motorcyclist who was run over by the SUV as it was trying to escape.
Reginald Chance appeared in court yesterday and was officially arraigned on gang assault, as well as other charges. Even though the video shows that Chance did not participate in the beating, prosecutors say that the breaking of the window is what set things into motion.
This case has become a very controversial case, with some people siding with the SUV, and others siding with the bikers. What do YOU think? Was the SUV justified in striking the motorists as he tried to escape? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
UPDATE: 10/8/13 4:21 PM
Another biker has been arrested in connection with this incident. 29-year-old Craig Wright has been charged with gang assault, assault, and unlawful imprisonment for allegedly hitting Alexien numerous times with his fists, feet, and helmet, after forcibly removing Alexien from the SUV.
Reports are that his uncle identified him from the video for police.
UPDATE: 10/8/13 5:07 PM
Just as I posted that last update, I saw breaking news that an undercover police officer who had been riding along with the motorcyclists when the incident occurred will be charged with criminal mischief. Police say he banged on the SUV and broke the rear window.
Pretty shocking that someone who is hired to serve and protect you actually participated in this crime.
Police also released images of four bikers who they say are “persons of interest” in the attack.
You can read more in the links below.
UPDATE: 10/11/13 7:51 AM
CNN has a great re-cap on everyone charged thus far in this incident, along with explanations of the actual charges. You can check that out HERE.
– Two Arrests So Far In Bikers’ Shocking Attack Of NYC Driver
– Pack of bikers chase down driver after New York fender-bender
– NYC biker attack: 3rd man in custody; injured biker’s family speaks out
– Undercover Police Officer Arrested In Manhattan Motorcycle Melee