NYPD seeks to question another man in road-rage case
The NYPD is looking for another man in connection with last weekend's Manhattan melee that left a motorcyclist seriously injured and an SUV driver beaten by a group of bikers, authorities said Saturday.
Police released two photos of the unidentified man, who is being sought for questioning in the investigation into the Sept. 29 beating of Alexian Lien on the Henry Hudson Parkway in Washington Heights.
Lien, 33, was driving a Range Rover and trying to escape bikers who had surrounded his SUV after it apparently collided with one of the motorcycles, police said. Lien sped away and was eventually stopped by some of the bikers on 178th Street, where he was pulled out and assaulted, according to police.
On Saturday, biker Robert Sims, 35, of Brooklyn, was arraigned in Manhattan on charges of first-degree gang assault, first-degree assault and third-degree criminal possession of a weapon, according to The Associated Press. Bail was set at $100,000.
Sims is seen on video trying to open the driver's door on Lien's SUV before the vehicle sped away, police said. It's unclear how the confrontation started.
Also charged in the case is biker Christopher Cruz, 28, of Passaic, N.J., who faces misdemeanor counts of reckless driving and unlawful imprisonment, and could be indicted on more serious charges, prosecutors said.
A third biker, who police believe used his helmet to break Lien's window before pulling him out of the SUV, turned himself in at the 33rd Precinct on Friday night, the NYPD said. Reginald Chance was charged Saturday night with gang assault, assault and criminal mischief, police said.
Meanwhile, investigators are also trying to determine whether NYPD officers were present during the beating, a police source said.
At least one of the bikers involved in the melee is an off-duty narcotics officer whose actions during the confrontation are being investigated by internal affairs detectives, a law enforcement source told The Associated Press on Saturday. The officer came forward several days after the incident to say he was present, according to the official, who spoke to AP on condition of anonymity. The officer has an attorney, the official said.
NYPD spokesman John McCarthy said a detective had been stripped of his gun and badge pending the outcome of an internal affairs inquiry, AP reported.
The family of Edwin Mieses Jr., a biker seriously hurt in the incident, has said he was only trying to help Lien and defuse the road rage situation when he was run over by Lien's SUV.
Mieses, of Massachusetts, is hospitalized with a broken spine, fractured ribs and a torn aortic valve.