The dirty, cynical, polarizing, ugly New York biker rage story continues to blow up out of all proportion. Today a third New York City cop, Matthew Rodriguez, was identified as a participant in an informal sport bike event that eventually led to the pursuit and beating of a young urban professional in a big, shiny, black SUV on September 29.
Wait. It gets better. Rodriguez works in the NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau, which is the bureau investigating the two other cops implicated in the attack. Rodriguez has not been arrested but has been reassigned.
The other two cops identified in the case are detectives Wojciech Braszczok and Samir Gonsalves. Braszczok is charged with two felonies, first-degree gang assault and first-degree assault, and is currently free on $150.000 bail. The victim of the assault was Alexian Lien.
The frenzied news coverage of the aftermath of Lien’s beating shows no signs of abating. Today Steve Cook was quoted in the Los Angeles Times about the incident. Cook is identified by the Times as “an expert on motorcycle gangs at the Heartland Law Enforcement Training Institute.” Cook insightfully told the paper “These guys are obviously looking for attention, and there are times and places for things like this, but in the middle of any public roadway is just not the place.” So now at least, at last, we all know.
Let’s Meet Wojciech
It remains a state secret whether Detective Braszczok participated in the sport bike rally professionally as a spy or recreationally as a jerk. Braszczok is a member of New York City’s spy apparatus which is formally called the Intelligence Division.
Nick Pinto reported for the Gothamist today that Braszczok has been arrested before, on August 17, 2012, as part of his job.
Pinto reported that Braszczok has also spied on two recent populist social movements, Occupy Wall Street and Occupy Sandy, a hurricane recovery charity. Braszczok called himself “Albert” and spoke with a Polish accent during these infiltrations. In 2012, he was one of three people arrested during a demonstration involving about three dozen people at Grand Central Station. Charges against all three were eventually dropped.
An occupier identified only as Casper told Pinto “Albert” was a quiet man. “I never trusted the individual,” Casper said.. “I always thought he was shady, the vibe he gave off. He’d come up to people and start a conversation, ask their age, their information, where they’re affiliated.”