NEW YORK - Prosecutors on Wednesday charged undercover NYPD Detective Wojciech Braszczok, 32, with one count each of gang assault in the first degree, assault in the first degree and criminal mischief in the third degree for his role in the controversial attack against wealthy Manhattan executive Alexian Lien, 33, in a wild biker brawl two Sundays ago.
According to the criminal complaint against Braszczok, Sergeant Euclides Lopez of the NYPD's Internal Affairs Bureau observed a video depicting some of what transpired during the controversial incident and identified the officer.
He noted that during the attack on Lien's SUV: "I observed a male wearing a black vest with 'Front Line Soldiers' and 'New Rochelle, NY' written on the back, strike at the rear window of the said Range Rover with his fist while wearing motorcycle gloves, thereby breaking said window.
"I then observed said male kick the passenger side of said Range Rover. I then observed multiple individuals drag the driver out from said Range Rover," said the complaint.
Once the driver was out of the vehicle, the complaint says about five to six people, not including Braszczok, wearing similar vests bearing the words, 'Front Line Soldiers' and 'New Rochelle, NY' surrounded the SUV driver and struck him with their helmets while he is on the ground. The driver was also stomped in the head and on his body by about five or six individuals wearing boots and sneakers.
The complaint states that Braszczok was tracked by the license plate number from a red Yamaha motorcycle in the video in which he is listed as the registered owner, according to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles.
According to the complaint, Lien suffered lacerations to his face above each eye and right cheek that required multiple stitches and lacerations to the left side of his body that required multiple stitches. He also go two black eyes, abrasions on his hands, back and right shoulder and a laceration on his lip.
At his arraignment in Manhattan Criminal Court Wednesday evening, a bearded Braszczok dressed in a pair of army fatigue pants and a black hoodie said nothing as his lawyer John Arlia argued that the case against his client was "absolute overcharge."
Before that, however, he asked the judge to prevent any recording of his client to protect his undercover status which the judge granted despite protest from journalists that his photo was already available online.
Arlia described his client as a married father of two who lives in New York City with a clean criminal record.
A damning New York Post report, however, paints Braszczok as a self-absorbed individual who trolled for "girls" as young as 18 and lists himself as a Catholic who never married but fathered children.
Arlia also disputes evidence his client is a member of a gang.
"This group is a loosely fit group of people that get together through the Internet. There is no evidence that they knew one another. Absolutely none. In fact they have evidence to the contrary," said Arlia.
"With respect to my client, what they allege is that this veteran detective essentially broke what was already broken," Arlia continued. "They fail to tell you that in the video, there is a gaping softball hole in [the] hatchback rear portion [of the SUV] and that they're alleging he broke what was already broken. Mindful of the fact your honor that at no point is it alleged that he comes near the individual, Mr. Lien, who is 12 feet away."
He argued that the charges would not hold up against his client and that prosecutors were using misdemeanor and mischief charges to build a case.
The detective was released on meeting a $150,000 bond bail.