Undercover officer arrested in probe of New York motorcycle gang beating

NEW YORK Wed Oct 9, 2013 7:20am EDT

The SUV involved in Sunday's Manhattan's Henry Hudson Parkway motorcycle accident is seen on a NYPD truck arriving to the 33 precinct in New York October 4, 2013. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

The SUV involved in Sunday's Manhattan's Henry Hudson Parkway motorcycle accident is seen on a NYPD truck arriving to the 33 precinct in New York October 4, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Eduardo Munoz

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - An undercover New York detective was arrested on Tuesday for his alleged role in the attack on an SUV driver who was chased for miles along a Manhattan highway by dozens of motorcycle riders, police said.

Detective Wojciech Braszczok, 32, was arrested more than a week after bikers pursued the sport utility vehicle, driven by a man traveling with his wife and 2-year-old daughter. Riders smashed the vehicle's windows, hauled the driver out and beat him, police said.

Video of the September 29 confrontation was uploaded to YouTube and went viral. The incident began with a fender bender between the Range Rover SUV and one of the motorcyclists traveling north on Manhattan's Henry Hudson Parkway.

It escalated when the SUV, which was surrounded by the bikers, accelerated through the crowd, injuring one rider and sending motorcycles flying.

Braszczok was charged on Tuesday with riot and criminal mischief, the New York City Police Department said. Local News 4 New York reported that Braszczok was off duty at the time of the incident, and had surrendered to police with his attorney.

Four other motorcyclists have been charged in the incident: Craig Wright, 29, Reginald Chance, 37, and Robert Sims, 35, all of Brooklyn, New York, and Christopher Cruz, 28, of New Jersey.

The Manhattan district attorney's office previously declined to comment on questions about whether the SUV driver could be charged for running over one of the bikers.

(Editing by Tim Gaynor and Peter Cooney)

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Comments (15)
Riversong wrote:
I hope all culpable parties are arrested and charged, including the SUV driver Alexian Lien, who deliberately ran over a man and nearly killed him. Then let the evidence and law sort things out.

Oct 08, 2013 8:46pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
runfast3 wrote:
As far as the police officer riding with the gang, he is just as guilty as any for not identifing himself and stopping the whole mess. He was afraid for his own skin. What a shame. The SUV driver should have opened fire with an ak47 and this crap will stop. He had every right to defend himself and his family.

Oct 08, 2013 9:41pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Robert76 wrote:
My question is why has Mr Lien not been arrested? According to news accounts, he committed not one but two Hit and Run crimes. Yes the bikers were guilty of reckless driving, but they were not a danger to this family as evidenced by the fact they only took revenge on the person who ran over their friend, and not the innocent wife and child. There were husbands and wives riding in that group, not hardened bikers in some outlaw biker gang.

And yes they were angry about his running over one of their friends and then trying to flee rather then take responsibility.

Oct 08, 2013 9:56pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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