The former NYPD undercover cop convicted of helping to terrorize and assault an SUV driver and his family during a West Side Highway motorcycle rally in 2013 was sentenced to 2 years in jail Wednesday in Manhattan state court.
Wojciech Braszczok, who was off duty, had testified that he and other riders chased driver Alexian Lien after the SUV ran over a biker, and said he didn't intervene in Lien's beating because he feared for his safety. His lawyer asked for no jail time.
But Manhattan state Supreme Court Justice Maxwell Wiley, who convicted Braszczok in June of assault, riot and criminal mischief after seeing a video that showed him breaking out an SUV window and showering Lien's wife and daughter with glass, said there was no justification.StoryUndercover cop found guilty in NYC biker meleestoryNYPD: Biker in SUV brawl free on bailstoryFamily: 'Grave danger' with motorcyclists
"What was on Mr. Braszczok's mind . . . was not a desire to bring anyone to justice, to stop the Liens, to find out what happened," the judge said. "What was on his mind was revenge, pure and simple."
Braszczok, 34, of Queens, was among hundreds of bikers involved in the Sept. 29, 2013, rally on the West Side Highway that eventually engulfed the Liens in their SUV. After an altercation, Lien panicked and struck a biker -- who was paralyzed -- while fleeing.
Lien was chased to an intersection on West 178th Street in Manhattan, where he was dragged from the vehicle, beaten and stomped, in a scene captured on two videos shot by bystanders. Braszczok did not beat him, but broke out the rear window and then fled.
Braszczok did not make a statement at the sentencing hearing, but defense lawyer John Arlia said Wiley should credit his client with a lifetime of public service -- he was an EMT before joining the NYPD -- and recognize the risks of jail for an ex-cop.
"He's not culpable of intentionally hurting anyone," Arlia said.
But prosecutor Josh Steinglass said the punishment should be harsh. Braszczok tried to cover up his presence at the attack from NYPD supervisors and lied at trial, the prosecutor said, calling him a "violent, remorseless, perjurious felon."
"This defendant wasn't the solution that day," he told Wiley. "He was part of the problem."
Braszczok and 10 others have been convicted on charges linked to the attack on the Liens. Wiley sentenced him to two consecutive 1-year sentences, so his time will be served at a city jail instead of state prison. He was given until Sept. 2 to surrender.