Manhattan bikers in an SUV chase video were arrested and charged Tuesday for giving chase to a Range Rover and beating on it with their fists, among other things. In the video, which went viral after it's posting to YouTube, an altercation between the driver and motorcyclists resulted in several bikers being run over and the driver being beaten.
The Manhattan bikers in the SUV chase that were arrested were 28-year-old Christopher Cruz of Passaic, N.J. and 42-year-old Allen Edwards of Queens, N.Y. Cruz was the biker who was first hit by driver Alexian Lien's Range Rover and he was charged with reckless endangerment, reckless driving, endangering the welfare of a child and menacing. Edwards, who banged on the SUV's windows in the video, was charged with reckless endangerment, criminal mischief and menacing.
Lien, 33, has not currently been charged with any crime— an omission some feel is unfair, as he ran over several motorcyclists in a bid to escape. Though he had his wife and 2-year-old child in the Range Rover with him, one biker is reportedly hospitalized with a crushed spine and broken legs, while another broke a leg as well.
Police commissioner Ray Kelly said that the investigation is still ongoing and has not ruled out charges for Lien.
"Well, it depends on what the circumstances are," Kelly told the Associated Press. "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's in the car. You have to look at the totality of the circumstances, and that's what we're doing."
The video began after the first incident had already taken place, but after a motorcycle swerved in front of the black SUV and broke hard, Lien did strike the back of the bike. After some of the bikers approached the vehicle, Lien crashed through the crowd of motorcycles, crushing one biker, Edwin Mieses Jr., underneath.
"When all the bikers stopped, my husband got out, parked his bike to walk over to try to help his friend," Mieses' wife, Dayana, explained. "I don't know what happened: the man was scared, the man just peeled off and ran over my husband."
When Lien tried to escape, 20 to 30 bikers chased him 2.5 miles down the West Side Highway. He eventually exited in Washington Heights, where one biker smashed in his window and pulled him from the SUV. The beating he received required stitches in his face.
Mieses, known as Jay Meezee, fares much worse than Lien did, according to his wife.
"There's no hope for his back," she said. "They crushed his spine. They broke it in two different places, so he will be forever, forever paralyzed."
She also said the bikers, who organized an unauthorized rally in Times Square earlier in the day, have been unfairly portrayed in media reports.
"Everyone wants to blame the bikers for something this man did," Dayana Mieses said.