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NYC biker attack: Cops failed to intervene as bikers beat SUV driver

Video footage shows a confrontation between a group of bikers and an SUV in New York City on Sunday, Sept. 29, 2013.
October 6, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
New developments have unraveled in the motorcycle road rage incident that took place on Sept. 29 in New York City.

Police are allegedly investigating reports that two off-duty officers were at the scene of the motorcycle road rage incident but failed to intervene.

One of the two, an undercover police officer, has been stripped of his badge pending the outcome of an internal investigation. The officer came forward, days after the attack, to say he was there.

The disturbing incident started when an SUV was boxed in by a group of motorcyclists on New York City's West Side Highway. In a clip posted on YouTube, a group of about 20 to 30 helmeted motorcyclists are seen gathered around a black Range Roger SUV. One biker suddenly slowed down in front of the SUV and the two collided.

The motorcyclists came to a halt. Police say some of them started damaging the SUV. The 33-year-old SUV driver, Alexian Lien, accelerated to escape, running over 32-year-old Edwin Mieses Jr.

Lien was traveling with his wife and 2-year-old daughter. Apparently fearing for the lives of his family, he took off.

The motorcyclists pursued the SUV. The chase ended when Lien exited the freeway and got stuck in traffic.

The video shows one biker using his helmet to smash the driver's window. Authorities say the driver was pulled from the vehicle and beaten in front of his wife and child. Officials said he needed stitches to his face at a hospital. His wife and child were not injured.

Internal Affairs is now looking into whether the undercover police officer witnessed the violent confrontation between the SUV driver and the swarm of bikers and didn't immediately report it. Sources tell WABC-TV that the narcotics detective did not get involved in the situation because he did not want to blow his cover.

Investigators are also trying to determine if there were other off-duty officers present.

Joe Palumbo, a security expert, says officers who didn't intervene could face severe disciplinary action.

"Unfortunately, in this instance it sounds like these were NYC police officers in the city of New York contributing to this problem," said Palumbo. "That's what I think the real fear is, were they complicit in some way or did they contribute."

On Saturday, the top witness in the case, Kevin Bresloff, was given a police escort home after providing investigators a helmet cam video.

Bresloff's attorney says he's being threatened because he turned the footage over.

Reginald Chance, the man seen smashing Lien's window in with his helmet, was arraigned in Manhattan criminal court Sunday.

He was charged with gang assault, assault in the first degree, criminal possession of a weapon, menacing and criminal mischief.

The prosecutor said Chance's smashing of the window set into motion a chain of events that led the other cyclists to drag Lien out of the vehicle.

Chance admitted he smashed in the window but denied all other charges.

Chance made an obscene gesture toward news cameras during his court appearance. Watts said his client is a married father of six who has been unemployed since a 2011 layoff from a food-service company.

His bail was set at $100,000. The suspect is due in court on Oct. 11.

ABC News, WABC-TV and the Associated Press contributed to this report.


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