Passaic Man Arrested In New York Motorcycle Road Rage Chase [VIDEO]
A Passaic man is one of two charged in connection with a terrifying motorcycle road rage chase in Manhattan on Sunday.
Christopher Cruz is suspected of driving the motorcycle that pulled in front of a Range Rover driven by Alexian Lien on the West Side Highway causing him to bump into the SUV, drawing the ire of the riders according to the New York Post. Cruz is charged with reckless endangerment, reckless driving, endangering the welfare of a child and menacing.
An unidentified man who pulled Lien out of his vehicle when they came to a stop in Harlem and beat him up is also under arrest.
The assault on the 33-year-old man began around 1:30 p.m. Sunday on Manhattan's West Side Highway and was partially captured on a helmet-mounted video camera worn by one of the riders involved in the chase.
A portion of the video posted on the Internet by an unidentified user shows a large group of bikers swarming around the Range Rover as it heads north on the highway. One of the bikers then moves into the SUV's lane and rides briefly alongside the vehicle, peering in through the driver's side window. It isn't clear from the video what the driver might have done to anger the motorcyclist.
The biker then cuts in front of the Range Rover and, still staring at the driver, suddenly slows down. It isn't captured on the video, but the motorcycle and SUV bumped, police said.
The motorcyclists, 20 to 30 in all, then come to a complete halt on the highway, blocking the SUV's path. Some dismount and approach the vehicle. Police said some of the bikers then began damaging the Range Rover, which isn't clear from the video.
The video shows the SUV suddenly accelerating, bouncing over at least one of the motorcycles and its rider as others scramble to get out of the way. The cyclists give chase, pursuing the driver for about 2 1/2 miles. At one point, the bikers succeed in getting the SUV to stop. One ripped open the driver's door, but he sped away.
The chase ended when the SUV exited the highway and got stuck in traffic on a city street. The video shows one biker using his helmet to smash the driver's window. Police said the group then pulled the man from the SUV and beat him, although that part isn't shown on the recording posted online. The police department confirmed that the video circulating online is authentic.
Police say the spine of the cyclist who was run over by Lien, Jeremiah Mieses of Lawrence, Massachusetts, was crushed and may now be a paraplegic. “My son just got out of surgery. Now we have to contend with his situation that he will never walk again,” Meises’s dad, the Rev. Edwin Mieses, wrote on Facebook.
Police tell the Post that the motorcyclists have been un-cooperative. "They’re saying they didn’t see anything. They’re saying, ‘I was just standing there.’ It’s a joke," an officer told the newspaper.
Police believe some of the bikers belong to a gang known as Hollywood Stuntz. They said the motorcyclists were part of a planned but unauthorized event in which hundreds of riders gathered outside of Manhattan, with the intent of driving into Times Square en masse.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.