There was an arrest this morning following Sunday’s ugly confrontation between an oblivious driver and an enraged pack of aggressive sport bike riders in Manhattan.
Christopher Cruz of Passaic, New Jersey turned himself in to police in New York City. He was charged with reckless endangerment, reckless driving, menacing and endangering the welfare of a child. A second suspect, Allen Edwards of Queens, also turned himself in but has not yet been charged. Multiple news sources in New York are reporting that police are seeking a third suspect in Brooklyn.
The sport bike riders were participating in an informal rally called “Hollywood Stuntz.” About a thousand motorcycles participated in the rally which marks the end of the summer riding season in the Northeast. According to New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, “This is a major stunt event where motorcyclists from various locations come together. Their ultimate goal is to get into Times Square, which they did last year. Quite frankly, it wasn’t on anybody’s radar screen last year. We were aware of it this year.” Police set up checkpoints throughout the city on Sunday and arrested 15 riders, issued 68 tickets and impounded 55 motorcycles.
The oblivious driver behind the wheel of a Range Rover was a New York entrepreneur and graduate of Columbia University named Alexian Lien. Lien (above), accompanied by his wife and daughter, was driving his black SUV on the Henry Hudson Parkway about 1:30 p.m. on Sunday. The pack had just crossed the Brooklyn Bridge and encountered Lien as the bikes began to move north. The New York Times reported this morning that Lien sped up as he was enveloped by the pack and cursed at the riders. When one of the bikes slowed to a stop in front of Lien he ran into the bike and knocked it down.
New York police are describing that collision as an accident
Some of the sport riders dismounted to offer assistance to the fallen biker. As the men approached Lien panicked and ran over three more riders. The most seriously injured of those was Jeremiah Mieses of Lawrence, Massachusetts who suffered two broken legs and a broken back. Mieses is now paralyzed.
As Lien sped away the pack gave chase and caught the SUV near the entrance to the George Washington Bridge. After one of the riders dismounted and tried to open Lien’s door, the driver again accelerated and ran over another motorcycle.
The pack finally caught Lien after he was stopped by traffic near the intersection of 178th Street and Saint Nicholas Avenue in Washington Heights in upper Manhattan. At least two riders smashed the Range Rover’s windows, pulled Lien out of the vehicle and beat him as his wife and daughter looked on.
Lien was taken to New York Presbyterian Hospital where he was treated for facial cuts and released. He has not been charged.