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>>

  • A look inside the exclusive Beautique

    A look inside the exclusive Beautique

    Monday, July 21 2014 10:38 PM EDT2014-07-22 02:38:38 GMT
    Beautique is Midtown Manhattan's new celebrity hangout with a touristy address and locals-only feel.The upscale restaurant gives way to a luxe lounge. Everyone here looks like a million bucks and has a bank account to match. It's no wonder celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio feel right at home.
    Beautique is Midtown Manhattan's new celebrity hangout with a touristy address and locals-only feel.The upscale restaurant gives way to a luxe lounge. Everyone here looks like a million bucks and has a bank account to match. It's no wonder celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio feel right at home.
  • NYPD arrest suspect in police assault

    NYPD arrest suspect in police assault

    Monday, July 21 2014 10:03 PM EDT2014-07-22 02:03:14 GMT
    A suspect has been arrested on a charge of assaulting a police officer in Upper Manhattan. Police say the assault happened around 1:30 a.m. Sunday at The Clinton Houses at East 104th Street. They say the officer and her partner were patrolling the area when they came upon four people smoking marijuana.
    A suspect has been arrested on a charge of assaulting a police officer in Upper Manhattan. Police say the assault happened around 1:30 a.m. Sunday at The Clinton Houses at East 104th Street. They say the officer and her partner were patrolling the area when they came upon four people smoking marijuana.
  • Central Park bike rental war

    Central Park bike rental war

    Monday, July 21 2014 7:17 PM EDT2014-07-21 23:17:22 GMT
    A bicycle rental war is being waged in Central Park by Columbus Circle. Bike and Roll is a Parks Department-sanctioned bike rental with rental booths in the park complete with helmets and bouncer-size security guards. Bike and Roll's president says his employees are being threatened and harassed by non-licensed illegal vendors in the park while they hawk to tourists. The individual vendors, who appeared to be trying to rent out bicycles using pedicab licenses, were not friendly to us, either.
    A bicycle rental war is being waged in Central Park by Columbus Circle. Bike and Roll is a Parks Department-sanctioned bike rental with rental booths in the park complete with helmets and bouncer-size security guards. Bike and Roll's president says his employees are being threatened and harassed by non-licensed illegal vendors in the park while they hawk to tourists. The individual vendors, who appeared to be trying to rent out bicycles using pedicab licenses, were not friendly to us, either.
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