A former Hells Angels leader who watched the helmet-cam video of a high-speed chase in New York that resulted in a father taking a beating in front of his wife and 2-year-old child said nothing justifies the attack.
"These types of incidents unfairly give us a bad name," George Christie, who led the Ventura, Calif., chapter of the Hells Angels for 35 years, said. "They are not an example of what we stand for."
The six-minute video, which was taken last Sunday, shows dozens of bikers alongside a black Range Rover SUV on Manhattan’s West Side Highway.
The bikers surround the SUV.
"I don’t know if you've ever seen someone on a motorcycle get hit by a car—that takes off-- let me tell you: it affects you."
- George Christie
Alexian Lien, the driver, steps on the gas and runs into Edwin Mieses Jr., who suffered a broken spine and other serious injuries, according to Gloria Allred, his defense attorney. Allred said Mieses may be paralyzed.
"These guys just saw one of their friends get run over by an SUV," Christie said. "I don’t know if you've ever seen someone on a motorcycle get hit by a car -- that takes off-- let me tell you: it affects you."
Christie made clear that there is no excuse for the beating, but said the riders appeared to be acting on emotion. He said you can compare the feeling of riding with a group with the sensation of being in a charging army. "There's a lot of power; it's very seductive."
The helmet-cam video cuts out when the riders catch up to Lien and one uses his helmet as a hammer to smash in his driver's side window. Christie said Lien was grossly outnumbered and the fact that the bikers, considering their frenzy, only left Lien with two black eyes and a cut on his face that required stitches indicates that they exercised some restraint.
"Maybe they noticed the mom and kid looking on," Christie said.
Lien's wife, Rosalyn Ng, has said that her family's sympathies go out to Mieses, but that they had to flee a dangerous situation. She said her husband was trying to protect her and their child.
Jerry Langton wrote several books on motorcycle clubs, including a profile on Walter Stadnick, the founder of the Hells Angels in Canada. Langton said the riders who appeared in the video are far from being a true motorcycle club. These clubs, like the Hells Angels or Outlaws, often wear uniforms, ride Harleys and adhere to a code of conduct that would oppose what was seen in the video, Langton said.
"It would be highly frowned on to be violent in front of a wife and kid," he said. "Let's just say that."
Langton recalled a story of an associate from the Montreal chapter of Hells Angels who accidentally killed an 11-year-old in a bombing. That associate was later killed.
A former rider with the Legion of Doom, a New York motorcycle club, told FoxNews.com that these bikers who terrorize motorists give responsible bikers a bad name. These thrown-together groups are often comprised of riders out for a thrill who take little precaution.
"I don't have any respect for people who don't know how to ride in a proper formation on the highway," said Angel, the former rider who only gave his first name for the report. "You also don't chase and beat up a man in front of his family. They're a bunch of cowards."
Angel, now 48, rode motorcycles since he was a teenager in Puerto Rico and continued in Brooklyn until he got married in 2004.
"If I was with my family and I was being chased, I would have just drove my SUV into as many of them as I could," he said.
This group of motorcyclists were headed to an annual rally in New York's Times Square sponsored by Hollywood Stunts, Kerrie Droban, a lawyer and author of three books on biker gangs, said.
Droban said when a traditional motorcycle gang takes to the street there's an order in place. Oftentimes a road captain and riders are traveling in a particular order. When a member is pulled over by police, "all of them pull over together."
"They're not taking over the road the way these guys did," she told Fox & Friends.
The Daily News reports that Reggie Chance, 38, turned himself in and is being questioned by police in connection to the beating. Robert Sims, 35, was charged with gang assault and other charges the report said.
Photo by The Ventura County Star