The chase ended when the SUV exited the highway and got stuck in street traffic. The video showed one biker smashing the driver’s window with his helmet. Police said the group then pulled the man from the SUV and beat him, although that part isn’t shown on the video. The police department confirmed that the video is authentic.
The SUV driver, Alexian Lien, 33, was taken to a hospital for stitches for his face. His wife and 2-year-old were not injured. A call to his home wasn’t returned Wednesday.
Cruz’s attorney said his client wasn’t involved in the beating. Cruz has previous arrests in New Jersey, including a theft case in which he pleaded guilty, according to Manhattan prosecutors. Court records concerning the New Jersey case weren’t immediately available.
“The bottom line is that my client had nothing to do with what happened to this gentleman” and doesn’t know the people who attacked the driver, Perez said. “He never left the location of the accident, and he at no time ever assaulted this man — or his vehicle, for that matter.”
The biker who was struck as the SUV fled, Edwin Mieses Jr., remained hospitalized Wednesday. His legs were broken and he has spine injuries that will leave him paralyzed, his wife said. She said her husband, who goes by Jay, is the victim, not the driver of the SUV.
“Everyone wants to blame the bikers for something this man did,” Dayana Mieses said. At least one other biker was injured.
Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said the motorcyclists were participating in a periodic rally in which more than 1,000 bikers head for Times Square. He said police were caught by surprise by the unpermitted event last year but were aware it was taking place this year and “did a fair amount of enforcement” to break up the procession.
There were 15 other arrests and 55 motorcycles confiscated, Kelly said.