Motorcyclists arraigned following bloody encounter with SUV driv

Motorcyclists arraigned following bloody encounter with SUV driver

Posted: Updated:
NEW YORK CITY -

(AP) -- A motorcyclist accused of smashing a window and catalyzing a bloody encounter between a group of bikers and an SUV driver was arraigned Sunday on gang assault and other major charges, which his lawyer said were overblown.

Related: Caught on cam: SUV driver runs over bikers, attacked by biker gang.

The fourth person arrested so far in a case held up as a highway nightmare, Reginald Chance, 37, was being held on $75,000 cash bail. Prosecutors said he played a key role in the SUV driver's beating, which came after the driver ran over a biker in what the motorist's family said was fear for his life.

While Chance didn't hit or kick the driver, by shattering the SUV's driver's-side window, he "set into motion a chain of events that resulted in the driver being dragged out of his vehicle and beaten" by others, Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Samantha Turino said.

Chance's lawyer, Gregory Watts, acknowledged his client broke the window in a burst of anger. The SUV's door had knocked him down earlier in the encounter that went from a Manhattan highway to a neighborhood street, Watts said. Video that captured part of the encounter shows Chance got on his motorcycle after breaking the window and left without hitting SUV driver Alexian Lien or encouraging anyone else to do so, Watts said.

"This is not a man riding around assaulting people with a quote-unquote `gang,"' Watts said. "We will hotly contest those allegations."

A married father of six, Chance has been unemployed since a 2011 layoff from a food-service company, Watts said.

In the Sept. 29 confrontation, a group of motorcyclists crossed paths with Lien, who was out for a drive to celebrate his wedding anniversary with his wife and their toddler. One biker, Christopher Cruz, 28, cut off Lien's Range Rover SUV and slowed down before it bumped his motorcycle's rear tire, police and prosecutors said. Cruz is fighting misdemeanor charges including unlawful imprisonment.

Cruz and other bikers stopped and approached Lien, 33; who drove off, running over biker Edwin "Jay" Mieses Jr. and breaking his spine and both his legs. The motorcyclists pursued Lien off the highway and onto a street, then attacked him when he got stuck in traffic, authorities said. Chance's bike was knocked down along the way when another biker tried to open the SUV's door and it drove on, Watts said.

After the SUV's window was broken, Lien was dragged out, beaten and stomped, needing stitches in his face, authorities said.

Another rider accused of participating in the beating, Robert Sims, 35, of Brooklyn, was arraigned Saturday on charges including gang assault. His lawyer, Luther Williams, said Sims denies the charges.

Prosecutors have declined to charge a fourth man who was arrested, at least for now.

Lien has not been charged with any crime. His family's lawyers declined to comment on Chance's arrest.

Police are investigating whether an undercover police officer at the motorcycle rally witnessed the violent confrontation and didn't immediately report it, a law enforcement official said Saturday, speaking on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to speak publicly about the investigation. Police also are looking into whether any off-duty officers were there.

Meanwhile, a bystander hailed as a hero in the episode gave a public account Sunday of stopping the attack.

Lien was on the ground when bystander Sergio Consuegra stepped in between him and the bikers, Consuegra recalled at a news conference with local officials.

Feeling "intense danger," Consuegra told himself, "'Let me not show these people that I'm here to engage in any kind of confrontation but that I'm here to protect the man and the family, so I'm going to keep it cool,"' he recalled. Consuegra, who's in his 50s, was on his way to church when he saw the encounter.

He spread his arms to shield the driver and told the bikers: "`That's it, guys. Let it go. That's it. Let it go,"' he said. The bikers backed off, and Consuegra called police.

He said he felt he'd done the right thing. But "I do not call myself a hero," he said, "because I wish I could have done more."

Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Top StoriesMore>>

  • Burglary suspect cuts self, leaves blood during Yukon break-in

    Burglary suspect cuts self, leaves blood during Yukon break-in

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 8:36 PM EDT2014-04-24 00:36:59 GMT
    A Yukon man hopes his home surveillance equipment helps with the arrest of a man he says broke into his home and cut himself in the process.
    A Yukon man hopes his home surveillance equipment helps with the arrest of a man he says broke into his home and cut himself in the process.
  • Spring in Oklahoma: storms develop in western Oklahoma, moving east

    Spring in Oklahoma: storms develop in western Oklahoma, moving east

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 7:16 PM EDT2014-04-23 23:16:47 GMT
    A severe thunderstorm watch is in effect for western Oklahoma until 11PM Wednesday.  As of now, no part of this watch covers any part of the Metro. A severe thunderstorm watch means conditions for severe thunderstorms are possible, and we've already seen a few storms in western Oklahoma this evening.
    A severe thunderstorm watch is in effect for western Oklahoma until 11PM Wednesday.  As of now, no part of this watch covers any part of the Metro. A severe thunderstorm watch means conditions for severe thunderstorms are possible, and we've already seen a few storms in western Oklahoma this evening.
  • Car fire closes I240 at I35 interchange in Oklahoma City

    Car fire closes I240 at I35 interchange in Oklahoma City

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 6:49 PM EDT2014-04-23 22:49:26 GMT
    The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says a car fire has caused an Oklahoma City interstate to be closed during Wednesday afternoon's rush hour.
    The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says a car fire has caused an Oklahoma City interstate to be closed during Wednesday afternoon's rush hour.
  • FOX25 Slideshows

  • FOX 25 FeaturesMore>>

  • Tell Me Something Good

    Tell Me Something Good

    Tired of all the bad news? Looking for some good news? Tell Me Something Good, does just that! FOX 25's Mike Brooks finds the good in Oklahoma and tells you all about it.
    Tired of all the bad news? Looking for some good news? Tell Me Something Good, does just that! FOX 25's Mike Brooks finds the good in Oklahoma and tells you all about it.
  • Waste Watch

    Waste Watch

    How are your tax dollars being spent? FOX 25 Waste Watch tracks whether local, state and federal governments, or any groups, are using your money wisely... or wasting it.
    How are your tax dollars being spent? FOX 25 Waste Watch tracks whether local, state and federal governments, or any groups, are using your money wisely... or wasting it.
Powered by WorldNow
Powered by 

WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KOKH. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.