DA: Biker seen on video smashing SUV window charged
A motorcyclist who prosecutors said is shown in a viral video using his helmet to smash a driver's SUV window in upper Manhattan before other riders beat the man was arraigned Sunday on multiple assault charges.
Reginald Chance, 37, of Brooklyn, "without hesitation" bashed in the window "setting into motion" the beating of Alexian Lien, 33, Assistant District Attorney Samantha Turino said in Manhattan Criminal Court.
Prosecutors charged Chance with gang assault, assault and unlawful imprisonment -- all first-degree felonies -- as well as criminal possession of a weapon and criminal mischief, both in the third degree.
His attorney, Gregory Watts, acknowledged his client is on the video but said his role is overstated and he left the scene before the beating began. "My client obviously overreacted in smashing that window, but beyond that, he was not a participant in any assault," Watts said after the hearing.
Chance turned himself in at the 33rd Precinct in Washington Heights on Friday. His bail was set Sunday at $75,000 cash, or $100,000 bond. His next court date is Friday.
Authorities said Chance was part of a fleet of motorcyclists who chased Lien, his wife and their 2-year-old daughter in their Range Rover Sept. 29 on the Henry Hudson Parkway and then pummeled Lien after he struck a motorcyclist and ran over several other bikes, seriously injuring one rider. YouTube footage of the chase, captured by a helmet-mounted camera, went viral and created a dramatic record of the violence.
The NYPD search is ongoing. Late Sunday night, the NYPD released the photo of a person of interest: a man in dark clothing and colorful hat who they said was on the scene when Lien was beaten.
A Bellport man took and posted the video, his Bohemia-based attorney said Sunday. Kevin Bresloff, 37, is "panicked," Andrew Vecere told Newsday. Bresloff is cooperating fully with police but fears for his life after receiving threats, Vecere said. Bresloff is a mechanic who owns several motorcycles but knew none of the riders who beat Lien, Vecere said. Bresloff rides in Manhattan about once a year and "never thought it would turn into what happened," Vecere said.
Vecere said he doesn't know why Bresloff published the video on YouTube. Vecere said he hopes the footage will aid investigators and added that it ends before Lien's beating because the camera battery ran out. The NYPD, assisted by Suffolk police, executed a search warrant on Bresloff's home last week and confiscated the GoPro camera he used to record the event and two laptops, Vecere said. Bresloff has not been charged, Vecere said. Bresloff was not available for comment.
Lien suffered lacerations to his face and side from the beating. The rider crushed under his SUV, Edwin Mieses Jr., of Lawrence, Mass., was hospitalized with a broken spine, broken legs and a torn aortic valve among other injuries.
Two other motorcyclists have been charged: Robert Sims, 35, of Brooklyn, and Christopher Cruz, 28, of Passaic, N.J.