DA: Biker had key role in SUV brawl - KMSP-TV

DA: Biker had key role in SUV brawl

Posted: Updated:

JENNIFER PELTZ | AP

NEW YORK (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.

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."

Chance made an obscene gesture toward news cameras during his court appearance. Watts said his client is a married father of six who has been unemployed since a 2011 layoff from a food-service company.

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."

___

Associated Press writer Tom McElroy contributed to this report.

  • Manhattan NewsManhattan NewsMore>>

  • God's Love We Deliver virtual bake sale for birthday cakes

    God's Love We Deliver virtual bake sale for birthday cakes

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 6:36 PM EDT2014-04-23 22:36:46 GMT
    God's Love We Deliver provides meals to people in the New York City area who are too sick to shop and cook for themselves. Clients also receive birthday cards that are decorated by local school students. Sometimes a cake is the only birthday gift that God's Love's clients will receive.
    God's Love We Deliver provides meals to people in the New York City area who are too sick to shop and cook for themselves. Clients also receive birthday cards that are decorated by local school students. Sometimes a cake is the only birthday gift that God's Love's clients will receive.
  • Success Academy students waiting for word on new locations

    Success Academy students waiting for word on new locations

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 5:58 PM EDT2014-04-23 21:58:48 GMT
    The mayor's office is saying one thing. The charter schools another. It is a lot of he said, she said. The bottom line is that right now the future of three charter schools is still unclear. Jennifer Duran is afraid because she doesn't know where her two children are going to school next year. Both kids attend success academy Harlem 4, one of three charter schools that still does not have a set location. The other two charters are Success Academy Jamaica in Queens and Success Academy City Hall.
    The mayor's office is saying one thing. The charter schools another. It is a lot of he said, she said. The bottom line is that right now the future of three charter schools is still unclear. Jennifer Duran is afraid because she doesn't know where her two children are going to school next year. Both kids attend success academy Harlem 4, one of three charter schools that still does not have a set location. The other two charters are Success Academy Jamaica in Queens and Success Academy City Hall.
  • Camilla's brother dies in New York after head injury

    Camilla's brother dies in New York after head injury

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 3:10 PM EDT2014-04-23 19:10:58 GMT
    The brother of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, has died after sustaining a serious head injury following a fall in New York, British royal officials said Wednesday. Clarence House said that the 62-year-old Mark Shand died in the hospital Wednesday after falling late Tuesday.
    The brother of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, has died after sustaining a serious head injury following a fall in New York, British royal officials said Wednesday. Clarence House said that the 62-year-old Mark Shand died in the hospital Wednesday after falling late Tuesday.
Powered by WorldNow

KMSP-TV
11358 Viking Drive
Eden Prairie, MN 55344

Phone: (952) 944-9999
Fax: (952) 942-0455

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices