The ugly road rage incident in Manhattan last Sunday has become the fatal hit and run in Thomas Wolfe’s 1987 satire The Bonfire of the Vanities. This story is growing as tropical depressions grow into Hurricanes. Feminist attorney Gloria Allred joined the ensemble cast yesterday. This morning Fox News recruited George Christie, Jerry Langton and Kerrie Droban to lend their voices to the loudening chorus.
Oh yeah, and as many as six undercover cops might have been eyewitnesses.
If you have just returned from Mars, or as they say in New York, “friggin’ Mars,” the first thing you should know is that last Sunday in the Big Apple as many as a thousand sport and dirt bike riders participated in an informal rally called “Hollywood Stuntz” to commemorate the end of yet another Summer in the soon to be bleak Northeast. The point of the ride was for very sloppy packs of sport bikers to play cat and mouse with police as the riders stunted their way to Times Square.
Local cops saw it coming and set up checkpoints. Sixty-eight riders were ticketed. Fifteen of the stunt riders were arrested and cops impounded 55 motorcycles, at least some of which were not licensed to operate on public roads.
Into the midst of this chaos stumbled a black Range Rover driven by a local entrepreneur named Alexian Lien. Lien was on his way to celebrate his wedding anniversary with his wife, Rosalyn Ng and their two-year-old daughter. Some reports say Lien was impatient with the mob of motorcyclists. Eventually he ran into one of them and knocked the rider down. His car was then surrounded by sport riders, two of his tires were reportedly slashed and Lien panicked. Which is where Gloria Allred comes in.
While attempting to escape a real or imagined threat, Lien ran over three motorcycles and very seriously injured Jeremiah Mieses of Lawrence, Massachusetts. Mieses suffered two broken legs, a broken back and spent a couple of days in a coma. He seems to be irrevocably paralyzed.
Mieses, who may not yet realize that his mother has found him the mother of all ambulance chasers, is now represented by distinguished advocate Gloria Allred who yesterday described Mieses as an “innocent victim.”
“Are people so blinded by their fears and prejudices in this case that they cannot see that before anyone laid a hand on Mr. Lien, that Edwin Mieses was run over and left severely injured,” Allred told a well attended presser. “Where is the justice in that?”
She humanized Mieses as the loving father of two children with his longtime companion Dayana Mejia and portrayed him as a peacemaker. “He tried to encourage people to move on and keep riding,” Allred said. “He was attempting to defuse the situation…he turned his back to the SUV to start walking back to his own bike. It was then, with his back to the SUV and as he was in front of it, that he was run over and crushed.”
What Would Real Bikers Do
The mob on bikes then gave chase. Near the George Washington Bridge one of the pursuers tried to pull open Lien’s driver’s side door but Lien escaped again by running over another motorcycle and speeding off.
The stunt riders finally caught Lien in traffic near the intersection of 178th Street and Saint Nicholas Avenue north of Harlem. Two riders smashed more windows, pulled Lien out of the car and roughed him up. The driver suffered a facial cut from the breaking glass and sustained two black eyes.
And since the stunt riders have been widely described as “bikers” in the last week numerous commentators have speculated about what would have happened to Lien if he had run into an angry pack of Hells Angels, Mongols or Pagans. Which is where Christie, Langton and Droban come in. All three agree that outlaws do have rules, that they wouldn’t have been all over the road harassing civilians in the first place and that real bikers ride in tight packs. Droban told Fox & Friends that patch holders and friends wouldn’t have been “taking over the road the way these guys did.”
Whether Lien deserved his beating or not is debatable. Langton told Fox, “It would be highly frowned on to be violent in front of a wife and kid. Let’s just say that.”
Christie was a little more ambiguous and realistic. “These guys just saw one of their friends get run over by an SUV. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen someone on a motorcycle get hit by a car…that takes off…let me tell you: It affects you.” Christie also told Fox that considering the minor extent of Lien’s injuries he thinks the sport bikers were restrained. “Maybe they noticed the mom and kid looking on,” he said.
Meanwhile numerous published accounts and informed sources have alleged that there was at least one undercover cop and possibly as many as six “undercover” cops in the motorcycle mob that pursued the black SUV. In several versions, the police are identified as “off duty” policemen which is hardly the same thing as being “undercover.” “Off duty” suggests any police who were present were there to stunt their way to Times Square. “Undercover” suggests a formal investigation of these seemingly undisciplined riders was underway.
The Daily News reported this morning that “An undercover NYPD detective, afraid of blowing his cover, watched a frothing motorcycle mob terrorize a defenseless Manhattan dad.” Citing a confidential source the Daily News said, “the detective wasn’t investigating anyone on the ride, but he thought he could pick up some tips about criminal activity. ‘It was like cold calling,’ said the source.”
Or, borrowing a phrase from journalism, the Daily News could have called it “enterprise policing.” But it makes sense when a reporter goes out and looks for a story all on his own. It seems unlikely that a New York cop was there because he decided to launch his own unassigned investigation.
Almost buried under all this speculation and analysis is the fact that two more men have been arrested. Police have identified Reggie Chance and Robert Sims as the men who smashed in the windows on the left side of Lien’s SUV. Two other men named Christopher Cruz and Allen Edwards were arrested earlier in the week.
There will be more. Count on that.