Lawyers for two motorcyclists on Thursday defended their clients' role in the Sept. 29 motorcycle ride through the West Side Highway that ended in an assault on an SUV driver.

A grand jury indicted Robert Sims, a 35-year-old Prospect-Lefferts Gardens resident arrested on Oct. 4 and hit with 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 motorcycles.

"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 group beating of the SUV driver, Alexian Lien, after he was dragged out of the vehicle.

Sims had made a statement to police as a witness, but was called back to speak with a detective who "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 is unable to afford to spring Sims, though his friends are trying to raise money.

Meanwhile, James Kuehne, a married 31-year-old plumber from Bensonhurst, pleaded not guilty to all charges -- including assault, gang assault and criminal mischief -- Thursday and was released on a $200,000 bond.

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 rear driver side window with his helmet and in a video stomping on Lien with several other bikers, according to his complaint.

"We will review all videos and fight these charges," Mure said. "We have evidence and plenty of witnesses who will show that the videos are not what it appears to be."

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