You’ve likely seen the footage by now: an SUV on a New York City street, swarmed with bikers beating on its windows with helmets and ultimately attacking the man inside.
Did you know there was a 2-year-old inside that car?
33-year-old Alexian Lien’s daughter and wife were in the SUV. I heard that, and my heart dropped into my stomach. Of course I immediately pictured how my own 2-year-old would react in the face of such violence while witnessing his very scared parents.
The story has been all over the media, likely because of the extensive video footage that captured the entire encounter between several bikers and the Lien family. All six minutes and 27 seconds of the incident (see video below) were recorded on the helmet-cam of one of the members of the motorcyclists.
The video shows the black Range Rover being surrounded by as many as fifty bikers on New York City’s West Side Highway. It is not clear what, if anything, happened before the video begins. One biker, Christopher Cruz, pulls in front of the SUV and brakes hard while looking back, causing the SUV to hit his bike — on purpose. As The Post reports, “One biker then pulled directly in front and slowed down, forcing the SUV to stop, and the others converged on the Range Rover, laying their bikes down on the pavement to block the vehicle.”
Although this part isn’t shown on the video, police say the bikers started attacking the SUV and slashed the tires. That’s when Lien, understandably panicked, gunned the engine and ran over several bikers before speeding off with the bikers in pursuit. As The Post reports, “At one point, they forced his vehicle to the side of the road, where the bikers slashed the father’s tires while one opened the driver’s door and tried to pull the terrified dad out … But Lien managed to speed off again, with the bikers in pursuit.”
The bikers chased the SUV for more than five minutes before Lien’s flat tires and traffic forced the vehicle to stop. The bikers immediately surrounded the terrified family and began banging on the windows, breaking them. The Post continues, “The crew then beat the man in front of his wife and child. The victim was rushed to Columbia Presbyterian Hospital with two black eyes, and also needed stitches on his face and chest.”
Father of two, 26-year-old Jeremiah Meises, who had stopped to help another biker hit by the SUV during the initial encounter, was also hit and is in critical condition with a crushed spine, two broken legs, and other injuries. His family says he may be paralyzed. “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. “There’s no hope for his back,” his wife, Dayana Meises, told reporters on Tuesday. “They broke it in two different places, so he will be forever, forever paralyzed.” According to NBC, Meises’ family has hired high profile attorney Gloria Allred.
Christopher Cruz, the biker who ignited the incident by braking in front of the SUV causing it to hit him, turned himself in for reckless driver charges, which were later dropped as police continue their investigation. As The Post reports, Cruz remained at the initial scene and was not among dozens of bikers who chased down the SUV and attacked Lien. Allen Edwards, 42, of Queens, was seen hitting the Range Rover with his hands and was also arrested, but there is no indication he participated in the beating; he actually may have tried to help the SUV driver, sources told NBC New York.
Reaction to the attack has been surprisingly mixed. Some people are saying “two wrongs don’t make a right” and that Lien never should have driven off from the first encounter. Are you kidding me? If I’ve got a scared wife and 2-year-old freaking out as a group of angry bikers slash our tires and bang on the windows of our car, you’re damn right I’m speeding away, and God help anyone who gets in my way.
Ask 100 people, and 99 of them would have driven off; the one idiot who doesn’t is the one that gets out of his car to fight and ends up in a coma or worse.
Lien did nothing wrong, and the police may agree. When asked if Lien was within his legal rights to race away from the scene of his accident with Cruz, New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly had this to say:
“It depends on whether or not your vehicle is being attacked, whether or not you think you’re being attacked, whether or not your wife and child are in the car. You have to look at the totality of the circumstances and that’s what we’re doing.”
My question to you: put yourself in Lien’s shoes. Spouse and small child in the SUV. Watch the video and tell me how you would respond.
Me? I’m taking off. Calling the police isn’t going to help when you’ve got a huge, helmet wielding man bashing in your window as your toddler screams in fear. Many New Yorkers agree, taking to YouTube to vent their frustration with what they call the “motorcycle gang.”
“I saw these a**holes in the city yesterday before the incident, Running red lights and causing traffic like they own the streets. Nothing but Thugs on bikes! I would’ve done the same.”
“These savages drove throughout Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan and The Bronx yesterday. They were on sidewalks, they were going against traffic. They were looking for trouble and unfortunately for this man and his family, they were picked on.”
Tell me if you agree in the comments below.
Image source: YouTube
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