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SUV gang assault: NYPD says bikers stomped on driver

Two bikers have been charged with playing a key role in the assault on an SUV driver in New York City last week.
Posted By GABRIELLE LEVY, UPI.com   |   Oct. 7, 2013 at 7:48 AM
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Two motorcyclists have been arrested and charged for playing key roles in the beating of an SUV driver on the West Side Highway in New York last Sunday.

Robert Sims, who turned himself in to police Friday, stomped on the driver of the Ranger Rover, and was charged with attempted assault, gang assault and criminal possession of a weapon, police said.

And Reginald Chance, the other biker who turned himself in, could be seen using his helmet to smash the driver-side window of the SUV, an action that prosecutors said opened the door to the beating of the driver.

Chance, who was arraigned Sunday, was charged with first-degree assault, gang assault, unlawful imprisonment, criminal possession of a weapon and criminal mischief. He was held on bail of $75,000.

A lawyer for Chance, Gregory Watts, called for the SUV driver, Alexian Lien to be investigated.

"We concede the criminal mischief," Watts said. "It's obvious that [Chance] overreacted."

Instead, Watts blamed Lien for starting the incident, in which he tapped the tire of another biker who had stopped abruptly in front of his SUV.

A swarm of bikers surrounded the SUV, hitting the vehicle and spiking the tires. A video, taken on a helmet camera worn by one of the bikers, showed Lien driving away, hitting three more motorcycles in the process.

Police say Sims wrenched open the door of the SUV at one point, and later, when Lien was forced to stop by traffic, Chance got off his bike and began smashing the window of the car.

Christopher Cruz, the rider of the first motorcycle hit, was charged with reckless driving and released after posting $1,500 cash and $15,000 insurance bond. His lawyer denied he was involved in the assault.

Edwin Mieses, who was run over when Lien took off after his SUV was surrounded by bikers, was critically injured, and remains on a ventilator, his wife said.

An undercover police officer was also present when the incident took place, but did not intervene. The officer has hired a lawyer and is being investigated by the NYPD's internal affairs unit.

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