(Photo: Screen Grab via YouTube/Michelinman900)
NEW YORK - Mayhem broke loose on Manhattan's West Side Highway in New York on Sunday after a man driving his family in an SUV was attacked by a group of bikers after a bizarre fender bender triggered by the actions of the bikers.
A six and a half minute video of the incident, which was posted to YouTube on Sunday, has also gone viral with many viewers taking sides on who should be blamed.
According to the NYPD, the incident was triggered at about 2 p.m. near W. 125th Street where the driver of the SUV accidentally hit one of the bikers who had swarmed his vehicle and obstructed his movement.
Police say the driver stopped after the incident but a few of the bikers began attacking his vehicle and the video shows him plowing through the pack in a bid to escape. The angry bikers, however, decided to give chase.
The video shows the bikers chasing the driver up I-95 until he gets off at W. 176th Street. The bikers catch up with him on W. 178th Street at a stoplight where one of the bikers is shown in the video removing his helmet and using it to pound the driver's side window, and another is shown attacking the passenger side window of the backseat where the driver's child was reportedly sitting.
Footage from the video ended at that point, but a spokesperson from the Office of the Deputy Commissioner Public Information (DCPI) of the NYPD confirmed with The Christian Post on Monday that the driver was slashed in the face.
"The driver was treated and released at Columbia Presbyterian, he had some stitches to the face," said the spokesperson.
He said no one has yet been arrested but police are investigating and they have witnesses who have come forward.
While a significant number of viewers blame the bikers for the incident, some have been erroneously making comments that the driver deserved what he got because one of the bikers had died when he plowed through them to escape.
The NYPD spokesperson assured viewers yesterday that no one died from the incident.
"There were no fatalities as a result of this incident. That is not true. As far as I understand it at this point, there were no fatalities," reiterated the NYPD spokesman.
Viewers of the video, incensed by what they saw, felt attacks like this could be prevented if New York City allowed people to carry guns.
"Yet another reason for conceal carry permits in NY. Attacking my family in my car with an object (helmet) that man would have many hollow points in his chest," wrote Justin LaNoue.
"I hope they all get arrested. ... I wrote 7 license plates numbers myself and I will be handing it over to the NYPD...arrest them all," wrote another commenter with the user name Isaiah Washington.
One commenter said the driver's actions were very much justified.
"It is an excuse, if you feel threatened for your life, you're allowed to defend yourself with lethal force, and the people who chased him down are all accessories who conspired to threaten and may be guilty of attempted murder of the driver," wrote David Berard.
A biker commenting through the screen name aklags agreed that the driver was justified in his actions and what the bikers did was nothing short of terrorism.
"Man all you losers who terrorize people ruin it for the rest of us. The dude who brake checked that car and got hit deserved it. We all know as riders that is the risk you take when you brake check a car. If you go down in that circumstance, it is your fault, and there is zero right at retaliation," wrote the biker.
"Since these stupid a**h**** decided to make it worse, they ruined it for everyone in the city. Our group ride got pulled over multiple times yesterday and you can bet there will be new bike laws now," the commenter added.