2 bikers indicted in assault on SUV driver
Related mediaImages from the NY biker melee
Two motorcyclists were indicted Friday in the beating of a sport utility vehicle driver following a tense highway encounter last month in Manhattan.
Craig Wright, 29, of Queens, was indicted on charges of first-degree gang assault, first-degree assault and unlawful imprisonment.
Reginald Chance, 37, of Queens, was charged with first-degree gang assault, first-degree assault, criminal possession of a weapon, criminal mischief and unlawful imprisonment.
Police said the assault occurred during a Sept. 29 motorcycle rally and after SUV driver Alexian Lien and a biker bumped on the West Side Highway. Bikers surrounded the SUV, forcing it to stop. Lien then fled, plowing over biker Edwin Mieses Jr., who suffered broken legs and severe spine injuries.
According to the complaint, a video of the melee shows Wright striking Lien, 33, of Manhattan, through a broken window. Wright is then seen on the video stomping on Lien after the driver had been dragged from the Range Rover as his wife and child sat in the car.
Wright's lawyer, Mitchell Elman, told reporters Friday that Wright is innocent.
"He is not guilty of the charges," he said after Wright, a retail employee, ran from the courtroom, down a flight of stairs, and jumped a police barrier to keep from being photographed by the news media Friday.
Two other bikers indicted in the case have chosen to testify before a grand jury.
One is Wojciech Braszczok, 32, of Queens, an undercover detective with the NYPD intelligence division. Braszczok is charged with first-degree gang assault, first-degree assault and criminal mischief.
He was identified in a video wearing a black vest with the letters "Wojtek."
His lawyer, John Arlia, told reporters this week that Braszczok was at least 12 feet away from the SUV and never had contact with Lien.
Clint Caldwell, 32, of Brooklyn, also will testify next week. He is charged with first-degree gang assault and first-degree assault.
Caldwell is accused of using his helmet to smash the driver's side window and striking the driver, prosecutors said.
"This is an absolute misidentification," said his lawyer Raymond Colon after Caldwell's court appearance Friday.
Colon said Caldwell had observed the melee and had stayed at the scene for 45 minutes waiting to be interviewed by police.