In motorcycle melee, lawyers defend suspects' actions

Robert Sims, right, appears in Manhattan Criminal court

Robert Sims, right, appears in Manhattan Criminal court after arrested for allegedly participating in a gang assault of motorcyclist on a family in a SUV in Manhattan. (Oct. 10, 2013) (Credit: Mariela Lombard)

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Lawyers for two motorcyclists charged in connection with a Manhattan road rage chase caught on video and the attack a short time later of a fleeing SUV driver, defended their clients' actions during the Sept. 29 ride.

A grand jury indicted Robert Sims, 35, of Prospect-Lefferts Gardens in Brooklyn, who was arrested Oct. 4 on five charges, including gang assault, assault and criminal possession of a weapon.

His lawyer, Luther Williams, said that Sims was working with police and had helped save the life of Edward Mieses Jr., the biker who was struck by the SUV as it plowed through several motorcycle riders.

"This is chilling, when police have you cooperate and treat you like a witness, and then you are arrested without consideration," Williams said.

According to the criminal complaint, Sims was one of the several motorcyclists who participated in the beating of SUV driver Alexian Lien, after he was dragged from his black Range Rover.

Sims had given a witness statement to police, but was called back to speak with a detective.

The detective "explained that a new development with police and the district attorney's office had occurred, taking a second look at the investigation," Williams said.

After Sims spoke with the detective, police executed a search warrant on his Winthrop Street home and he was asked to surrender.

He is being held on a $200,000 bond.

His family cannot afford the bail and his friends are trying to raise money.

Meanwhile, James Kuehne, 31, a plumber from Bensonhurst, pleaded not guilty to all charges Thursday.

He was released on a $200,000 bond.

Those charges included assault, gang assault and criminal mischief.

Kuehne's lawyer, Joseph Mure Jr., said his client is a family man and father of two who is distraught over the incident.

Kuehne, dressed in black, was seen in a photograph breaking the SUV's rear driver's side window with his helmet and in a video stomping on Lien with several other bikers, according to the complaint against him.

"We will review all videos and fight these charges," Mure said.

With Maria Alvarez

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