The encounter, captured partly on a helmet-mounted-camera video that was posted online, began when about two dozen riders surrounded the Range Rover after it bumped a biker on the West Side Highway. Some riders dismounted and approached the SUV, and police said some bikers began damaging it.
SUV driver Alexian Lien took off, running over motorcyclist Edwin “Jay” Mieses Jr., of Lawrence, Mass. The impact broke Mieses’ legs and caused spinal injuries that may leave him paralyzed.
Lien’s wife has said he fled to protect her and their 2-year-old daughter. Lien hasn’t been charged with any crime.
The bikers pursued the SUV. After it ducked off the highway and got mired in street traffic, motorcyclists shattered the driver’s-side window, pulled Lien out and beat and kicked him, police and prosecutors said. Lien needed stitches.
The motorcyclist arraigned Tuesday, Craig Wright, punched Lien through the broken window and joined in stomping him on the street, Assistant District Attorney Samantha Turino said. A judge set Wright’s bail at $100,000.
Wright’s lawyer, Mitchell Elman, said they would fight the charges.
“There should be no rush to judgment,” Elman said.
According to the undercover detective’s account, he saw motorcyclists attacking the SUV but didn’t see anyone harm Lien, Karasyk said Monday. The detective also didn’t see the SUV hit Mieses, the attorney said.
Carrying no badge or gun, and aware that officers have sometimes been suspended or fired for blowing their covers, “he had no other option, so he drove away,” said Karasyk, who works with the detectives’ union.