NYPD arrest 3rd biker in SUV driver's beating
Police arrested a third suspect in the beating of an SUV driver after an incident with a group of bikers on the Henry Hudson Parkway a week ago.
Craig Wright, 29, of Brooklyn, was charged with gang assault, assault and unlawful imprisonment Monday night, the NYPD said.
Police also said they were seeking three more bikers for questioning in the melee, which left driver Alexian Lien, 33, bloody on a Manhattan street.
Late Monday, NYPD detectives were considering the release of photographs of the three other men who may have been involved in or seen the beating of Lien.
The Sept. 29 incident appears to have been sparked when Lien ran over one of the bikers in his haste to get away from the large group of motorcyclists on the parkway, police said.
Lien had stopped his SUV after apparently bumping one of the bikers, police said.
Law enforcement officials and legal sources said a number of off-duty police officers, including one undercover narcotics detective, were among the bikers.
Late Sunday, Reginald Chance, 37, of Queens, was arraigned on felony gang assault and assault charges.
Chance punctuated his criminal court appearance by giving an obscene, raised middle finger gesture to reporters in the courtroom.
Outside court Sunday, defense attorney Gregory Watts told reporters that Chance, who was captured on video beating his helmet against the driver-side window of Lien's black Range Rover, did not take part on the assault on the driver.
Police have acknowledged that an undercover detective was among the bikers but said the officer wasn't involved in the assault.
The detective's fear about compromising his undercover status complicated his ability to stop the assault, his attorney said.
"He got there towards the end ," said attorney Philip Karasyk of Manhattan. "He didn't have his gun. He didn't have his shield."
The detective was aware of what happened to another undercover police officer in the 2006 Sean Bell case, Karasyk said.
"It was certainly going through his mind, I can tell you that," Karasyk said.
Bell was shot dead by police during a confrontation near a Queens strip club.
Police thought someone in Bell's group had a gun and fired to stop him from using his car as a weapon.
Gescard Isnora, who had been working undercover at the time, fired his weapon at Bell's car.
Although Isnora and three other officers were acquitted of homicide charges, he was fired for stepping out of his undercover role, Karasyk said."His intervening could have escalated the scene," said Michael Palladino, head of the Detective Endowment Association.