Two bikers charged over beating of driver in NY chase incident
Video shows motorcyclist slowing in front of SUV ahead of crashes, chase and beating
Leaving the scene of an accident can be justified if the driver feels threatened by a menacing mob, prosecutors said. “If you are being physically threatened, the law doesn’t contemplate that you have to remain at the scene,” said Maureen McCormick, a former vehicular crimes prosecutor in Brooklyn.
The man who turned himself in, Allen Edwards, can be seen in the video pounding on the SUV with his hands as another rider smashes the driver’s side window with his helmet, the police said. Mr Edwards (42), of Queens, was present when Mr Lien was assaulted, the police said. He was charged with reckless endangerment, criminal mischief and menacing.
The motorcyclist who was arrested, Christopher Cruz (28), of Passaic, New Jersey, was charged yesterday with reckless driving, reckless endangerment, endangering the welfare of a child and menacing. Mr Cruz, the police said, can be seen in a 6-1/2-minute video taken by another motorcyclist slowing in front of the vehicle just before he is struck. He suffered minor injuries, the police said. Mr Cruz did not have broken legs, as the police had initially reported.
It was Edwin Mieses, another rider, whose legs were broken, his family said. Mr Mieses (32), a father of two from Lawrence, Massachusetts, who goes by the nickname Jay Meezee, had travelled to New York City with a friend for the unauthorised ride.
After the police broke up the ride, ticketing and arresting dozens of motorcyclists, Mr Mieses joined the group heading uptown. As some riders stayed back with those injured on the Henry Hudson Parkway, a large number chased the Range Rover, catching it in traffic in Washington Heights. There, Mr Kelly said, several motorcyclists pulled Mr Lien from the SUV and beat him. He had facial lacerations and bruising and has been released from the hospital.
On the Washington Heights block where the chase came to a violent end, residents recalled the sheer number of motorcyclists crowding around the SUV. “I’ve never seen anything like it,” said Lydia Reyes (63), who lives nearby. “It was too many people for one man.”
She said she could hear a woman’s screams during the assault.
Yesterday afternoon detectives canvassed the neighbourhood around the spot where the attack occurred, searching for witnesses. Mr Kelly said the number of men who attacked Mr Lien was still unclear, and the police were searching for more suspects.
New York Times