A New York City man who was out driving Sunday celebrating his first wedding anniversary with his wife and 2-year-old daughter was brutally beaten by members of a motorcycle gang in front of his horrified family after a high-speed chase.
Police said Tuesday morning it remains unclear what caused the confrontation that led to the assault on Alexian Lien. Lien, 33, was left bloodied and had to be hospitalized. But investigators are studying a 6-minute helmet-cam video that shows part of the chase and cuts off just before Lien is pulled out of his luxury SUV and beaten by the mob, The New York Post reported.
NYPD confirmed the arrest of a biker who they say was involved in the initial accident. Christopher Cruz, 28, was charged with reckless endangerment, menacing, reckless driving and acting in a manner injurious to a child less than 17. Cruz, who was uninjured, was in custody awaiting arraignment Tuesday and hadn't been assigned a lawyer.
A second suspect -- Allen Edwards, 42, of Queens -- believed to be the man seen on video striking the Range Rover windows with his fists, surrendered to police on Tuesday. He was charged with reckless endangerment, criminal mischief and menacing. It was not immediately known if he had a lawyer.
Law enforcement sources told the New York Post Tuesday that the bikers were trying to slow Lien down so they could get in front of him and take over the West Side Highway. Some bikers had already blocked off a few of the highway's entrances to prevent drivers from entering, the sources said.
Lien’s first encounter with the bikers shows a group of them taking off their helmets and denting the side of Lien’s SUV, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly told The Post. A few other riders slashed the tires. Lien apparently panicked and stepped on the gas. He was surrounded at the time and slammed into a few of the riders, the report said.
Some bikers stayed behind to tend to their fallen comrades, but others chased Lien’s SUV.
“He feared for his life and the lives of his wife and daughter,” a police source told The Post.
The bikers, about 30 or so, chased Lien more than 50 blocks on the West Side Highway, which was recorded on a 6-plus-minute video later posted on YouTube. Lien, however, was driving with damaged tires and was forced to turn off at W. 178th St. in Washington Heights, where the assault occurred, the report said.
One biker was seen on the video ripping off his helmet and using it to bash in Lien’s driver’s-side window. The crew then pulled Lien from the SUV and beat him on the pavement in front of his wife, Rosalyn Ng, and their 2-year-old daughter, police sources told The New York Post.
“They went up on the sidewalk. It was just so many of them that they took up the whole street,” one witness told The Daily News.
Lien, who is reportedly the director of the e-commerce firm Skrill.com, was rushed to Columbia University Medical Center, where he received stitches to his face and chest and had two black eyes, the report said. Jeremiah Mieses, one of the motorcycle riders struck by Lien, may be left a paraplegic, the report said.
“My son just got out of surgery. Now we have to contend with his situation that he will never walk again,” the injured man’s father, Rev. Edwin Mieses posted on Facebook, The Daily News reported.
“This man needs to know he hurt someone,” Jeremiah Mieses' wife Dayana Mieses told Boston.CBSLocal.com. “That man paralyzed my husband. He needs to pay for what he did.”
Dayana Mieses told the station that her husband has injuries to his heart, lungs and ribs and that he is paralyzed from the waist down.