An Upper Manhattan lawmaker released video Thursday that he says shows the motorcycle group just a half hour before their alleged chase and assault of an SUV driver and how their presence outside a popular Inwood stretch was making people fear for their safety. NY1's Vivian Lee filed the following report.
Video shot by a customer of a cafe in Inwood shows a motorcycle swarm last Sunday at 1 p.m., about a half hour before the altercation that's now gone viral: An SUV bumps a bike, then bikers surround the vehicle, which takes off, hitting one of them.
After a chase, one of the bikers smashes the SUV's window. The driver, Alexian Lien, was beaten, although that was not shown on camera.
State Senator Adriano Espaillat gave police the video on Thursday, saying it's clear that the motorbikes make people nervous.
"They were driving on the sidewalk, people in these restaurants for brunch were forced to run into the restaurants many of them because, they felt they would be run over," Espaillat said.
Meanwhile, police continue to look for two bikers, pictured left, believed to have been present when Lien was beaten.
Espaillat is urging anyone with information to come forward. He says one witness told him he tried to stop the attack.
"They were really beating this guy up. And they wanted to get to the wife," Espaillat said.
Lien's wife, who says the couple was out celebrating their anniversary Sunday, released a statement Thursday saying, "Our sympathies go out to the injured motorcyclist and his family. However, we were faced with a life-threatening situation. Our fear for our lives was confirmed when the incident ended with the ruthless and brutal attack on my husband, me, and, most importantly, our two-year-old child."
The biker who was hit, Edwin Mieses, suffered serious injuries. Police in his home state of Massachusetts say he was arrested in May for driving without a license and has not had one there since 1999.
So far, the only arrest made in the case is Christopher Cruz, 28. He is charged with reckless endangerment and unlawful imprisonment.
Police say it was his bike that first got in the way of the SUV.
Senator Espaillat says he himself has experienced a motorcycle swarm, saying he almost hit one when dozens cut in front of him to make a turn. He's now calling for legislation to limit the number of bikes that can ride in a group.