New York News
Rally held for paralyzed biker in SUV Henry Hudson Parkway chase
NEW YORK (WABC) -- Scores of bikers gathered at the hospital where one of their own is paralyzed after a violent confrontation and attack on a family that was surrounded and scared for their lives.
Police are releasing new pictures, hoping to find these bikers.
The family of the biker who is in the hospital believes the driver of the SUV is responsible and should pay for what he did.
About 150 people protested in Morningside Heights Wednesday night, demanding justice for Edwin Mieses.
The 32-year-old is paralyzed and in a coma at St. Luke's Hospital after being run over by an SUV Sunday afternoon.
His wife sobbed, finding comfort in the crowd who prayed and held candles.
"A man got ran over. A man got paralyzed. He's in this hospital. He's in a coma. It wasn't because he was trying to hurt anybody, it wasn't because he's an evil person. It was because he tried to extinguish a situation that could have got worse, and did become worse," said Jose, one of Mieses' supporters.
The incident went viral online.
A helmet cam video shows the driver of a Range Rover hitting one biker after the biker allegedly stopped short on the West Side Highway.
Then the SUV was swarmed by a group of bikers.
The SUV driver, Alexian Lien, 33, bowled over the bikers and their motorcycles after the initial accident. The group gave chase until the next stop by the George Washington Bridge ramp, where one biker ripped open the car door, forcing Lien to flee again.Eventually, the heart stopping chase ended up on 178th Street, where the Range Rover became trapped by traffic with the raging bikers right behind him. The video shows the bikers smashing in the windows, but stops short of the brutal assault that followed. According to police, Lien was dragged out of the car and beaten in front of his horrified family. He was taken to a hospital where he needed stitches for his face. His wife and 2-year-old were not injured. Biker Jerome Davis was there.
"Accidents are accidents. If something happens you stop right there. You think and stop. You don't keep reacting on," Davis said.
Organizers collected money for Mieses' family and they hoped to spread the message that biker clubs are not gangs.
Some say this was a low turnout because many were too afraid to attend the rally.
"We couldn't get into Manhattan. All of the bridges are locked down. We got in using the highway. That's why you don't see a lot of bikes out here. The police have it closed down and you cannot get in," said Victor Rodriguez, a biker.
"People are scared. They think this is trap off. They think they'll be harassed. Nobody wants to come down. I'm here because I'm legit, what they can they harass me for?" said Vic Bussa, a biker.
A motorcyclist has been arraigned on charges of reckless driving after prosecutors said he touched off the tense encounter.
Christopher Cruz, 28, of Passaic, N.J., was also charged with unlawful imprisonment. His bail was set at $1,500 cash. His attorney, H. Benjamin Perez, said his client denied all the allegations.
"He will come back to fight this case and clear his name," he said.
A second suspect, Allen Edwards, 42, of Jamaica, Queens, surrendered to police at the 33rd Precinct Tuesday night. It is believed he is the man who punched the rear window of the SUV with his fists at the end of the video.
He had been held and questioned overnight Tuesday, and police initially said he would be charged with reckless endangerment, criminal mischief and menacing. But the office declined to prosecute at this time, pending further investigation of the entire incident.Prosecutors served notice that they intend to take the case against Cruz to a grand jury, a sign that more serious charges are likely. Karen Friedman-Agnifilo, the prosecutor overseeing the case, said authorities were trying to build the strongest cases possible. "Prematurely charging individuals with low-level crimes does not further the goals of the investigation, and could weaken the cases we expect to bring against the perpetrators of serious crimes," she said. Cruz is believed to be the motorcyclist who cut off the Range Rover before he was rear-ended in the crash that started the incident. Police are still searching for the man who used his helmet to bash the front window of the SUV. Authorities released a photo of the man, who has a flag sticker of "Guyana" on the rear of the motorcycle.
Anyone with information regarding the incident is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).
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