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One Biker Released; Investigation Of NYC Attack Continues

The moment of the attack on Sunday, after dozens of motorcyclists chased and surrounded an SUV. They then smashed its windows and beat the driver.
The moment of the attack on Sunday, after dozens of motorcyclists chased and surrounded an SUV. They then smashed its windows and beat the driver.

One of the two men taken into custody has been released as authorities in New York City continue to investigate an incident Sunday in which dozens of motorcyclists chased a driver. Some then surrounded his SUV, smashed its windows and beat the man in front of his wife and young child.

As we reported Tuesday, much of the incident was captured on a video that was later posted on YouTube and quickly went viral.

Now, as NY1 reports:

"Motorcycle rider Allen Edwards was taken into custody yesterday, but released this morning free of charges pending further investigation. Motorcycle rider Christopher Cruz remains in custody, charged with reckless endangerment and child endangerment."

Meanwhile, more is becoming known about the incident. According to The New York Times:

"Detectives were looking into the possibility that the motorcyclists involved in Sunday's episode had been trying to clear cars from the [Henry Hudson] parkway — in an effort to perform tricks and ride unencumbered — when they encountered the Range Rover. The video appears to show motorcyclists at entrance ramps, possibly in an effort to block oncoming vehicles.

"Such tactics are not uncommon among large groups of motorcyclists in and around New York, the authorities said."

At some point, the Times says, it's thought that the Range Rover driven by 33-year-old Alexian Lien bumped a motorcycle that had slowed "to a near-stop." Other riders than gathered around Lien's SUV. Police say someone smashed one of the vehicle's side mirrors.

Moments later, Lien drove off — striking at least one motorcycle rider. According to CBS New York, that biker, Edwin "Jay" Mieses, "was in a medically induced coma Tuesday with crushed legs and serious internal injuries as a result of being run over by the SUV. 'There's no hope for his back,' said his wife, Dayana Mejia-Meises. 'They crushed his spine — broke it in two different places — so he will be forever, forever paralyzed.' "

Most of the video is of the chase that followed. It ends as two bikers smash the SUV's windows. Police say bikers then pulled Lien from the vehicle. He suffered cuts to his face and other injuries.

Lien has not been charged with a crime. The Times notes that:

"Leaving the scene of an accident can be justified if the driver feels threatened by a menacing mob, prosecutors said. 'If you are being physically threatened, the law doesn't contemplate that you have to remain at the scene,' said Maureen McCormick, a former vehicular crimes prosecutor in Brooklyn."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.

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