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Undercover officer among two bikers charged in biker road rage case

Oct. 9, 2013 at 8:30 AM   |   Comments

NEW YORK, Oct. 9 (UPI) -- An undercover policeman was arrested in last week's motorcycle road rage incident in which a man was pulled from his vehicle and beaten, New York police said.

Police said Detective Wojciech Braszczok, assigned to the department's Intelligence Division, would be charged with riot and criminal mischief, after a video showed a man believed to be Braszczok hitting the back window of the sport utility vehicle driven by Alexian Lien, WPIX-TV, New York, reported Tuesday.

A police source told WPIX Braszczok, arrested Tuesday, first told investigators he arrived at the scene of the beating when it was essentially over and did not get involved.

Police also arrested Clint Caldwell, 32, of Brooklyn, who will be charged with gang assault, assault and criminal mischief. Police allege Caldwell took part in the mob beating of Lien in front of his wife and 2-year-old daughter.

Braszczok and Caldwell are the fifth and sixth men charged in the case caught on video that went viral. At least two other bikers who took part in the assault remained at large.

Braszczok and Caldwell were to be arraigned Wednesday.

Braszczok was placed on modified duty after he came forward last week to say he was present during the altercation, The New York Times reported.

Another police detective had said he also was among the motorcyclists on the highway during the ride, said Philip E. Karasyk, a lawyer for the Detectives Endowment Association. That detective was already on modified duty from an unrelated domestic dispute.

Just before the beating, Lien was on a highway with his wife and 2-year-old daughter when they encountered a large group of motorcyclists in New York for an unauthorized ride into Times Square that had been broken up by the police, authorities said.

The riders, prosecutors said, were driving recklessly. Video captured by one of the motorcyclists showed one of them, Christopher Cruz, 28, riding directly in front of Lien's SUV. Prosecutors said Cruz deliberately slowed his motorcycle, causing a collision that quickly disintegrated into a confrontation.

With the riders surrounding the vehicle, Lien sped off, hitting riders and seriously injuring one, Edwin Mieses Jr.

Lien's wife, Rosalyn Ng, said in a statement released by their lawyers last week that the couple feared for their lives.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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