New York News
Biker expected to turn himself in for SUV smash, police search for eyewitnesses
NEW YORK (WABC) -- The NYPD's lead suspect is expected to surrender in the coming hours.
He's believed to be the man seen in the YouTube video smashing the windows of the SUV before Alexian Lien was dragged-out and beaten in the street.
Also Thursday, investigators released photos of two witnesses of whom they would like to interview. CLICK HERE TO SEE THE PHOTOS.
Meanwhile, Lien's wife said her family was put in "grave danger" and feared for the life of his family when he drove through the crowd, striking a biker on the street.
Rosalyn Ng said in a statement that she and her husband, Alexian Lien, had been planning to celebrate their wedding anniversary with their 2-year-old daughter on Sunday afternoon, but instead they were swarmed by a motorcycle rally on Manhattan's West Side Highway.
Dozens of bikers rode alongside the couple's black Range Rover until a biker slowed down and the vehicles bumped, police said. Video captured at the scene shows the SUV surrounded by dozens of helmeted riders. One approaches the vehicle and peers into the driver's side window. Police said others tried to damage the SUV before Lien takes off, plowing over a rider. The bikers give chase and Lien is eventually stopped, pulled from the SUV and beaten, police said. He required stitches.
"We were faced with a life-threatening situation, and my husband was forced under the circumstances to take the actions that he did in order to protect the lives of our entire family," Ng said.
She said her family's sympathies went out to the injured rider, 32-year-old Edwin Mieses Jr., who broke both legs and suffered spinal injuries that may leave him paralyzed - but there was no other option than to flee.
"Our fear for our lives was confirmed when the incident ended with the ruthless and brutal attack on my husband, me, and, most importantly, our 2-year-old child," Ng said. "We know in our hearts that we could not have done anything differently, and we believe that anyone faced with this sort of grave danger would have taken the same course of action in order to protect their family."
Meanwhile, biker Edwin Mieses, whose relatives say was just trying to help a fellow biker, may be paralyzed for life and could lose his leg.
Friends and family gathered Wednesday night at St. Luke's Hospital, where the 32-year-old Mieses remains in a medically-induced coma.
"An accident is an accident," witness Jerome Davis said. "If something happens, you stop right there. It's an accident. You think and stop. You don't keep reacting on."
On the video, biker Christopher Cruz is seen pulling in front of the SUV and slowing down, and he gets bumped from behind.
That set off the chain of events that ended with Lien being beaten in front of his wife and 2-year-old daughter, after he ran over Mieses while desperately trying to get away from the bikers.
Authorities confirm that detectives went the Bellport, Suffolk County, home of the 37-year-old motorcyclist who shot the video. They recovered a GoPro helmet camera, two laptop computers, a cell phone and a digital camera, which they will scour for any potential new evidence that was not posted.
Detectives also interviewed the person who shot the video as part of the continuing investigation. No charges were filed.
Mieses wife, Dayana, says her husband was just trying to help Cruz after the initial accident, and now he may never walk again. Supporters are calling for Lien to be charged.
"A man got ran over," said Jose, who attended the rally. "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."
Organizers collected money for Mieses' family, and they hoped to spread the message that biker clubs are not gangs.
Cruz was arraigned Wednesday on charges of reckless driving and unlawful imprisonment. 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.
Prosecutors served notice that they intend to take the case against Cruz to a grand jury, a sign that more serious charges are likely.
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.
Anyone with information regarding the incident is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).
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