Friday, December 26, 2014

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The Call Blog: Seven Charged In Attack On SUV Driver, Including Off-Duty Detective

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Almost two weeks after the attack, this incident is still resonating with our viewers. 94% of our snap poll respondents said the undercover detective should have done SOMETHING, whether it be intervene to stop the attack or call police. Only 6% said he should have done nothing. This is an extremely complicated case and I'm sure we'll continue to learn more facts as the days go on.

It's been a busy week in the investigation into the violent altercation between the driver of an SUV and a dozens of motorcycle riders. Seven people have now been charged, including an off-duty undercover police detective. 32-year-old Wojciech Braszczok hid his face outside of court yesterday after pleading not guilty to felony assault and gang assault charges.

Police are looking for at least four more suspects in this case, and sources tell NY1 there is a "good possibility" other law enforcement officers and emergency workers took part in the ride. To date, the driver of the Range Rover has not been charged. Fearing for his safety, Alexian Lien fled the Henry Hudson Parkway and ran over a biker who suffered serious injuries. After a chase into Washington Heights, several cyclists assaulted Lien with his wife and toddler in the car.

What's your reaction to the alleged involvement of an off-duty police detective in this case? Should Detective Braszczok have stopped the attack, even if it meant his undercover identity would be jeopardized? Would you like to see more efforts from the NYPD to crack down on reckless motorcycle, dirt bike and ATV riders?

Send your thoughts using the link above.

Some motorcyclists are fine; gangs are a problem in terms of reckless driving and intimidation but I particularly object as a motorist, pedestrian, dog-walker and cyclist to SUV's and their drivers with no requisite skill as a driver or one who observes the NYS-VTL. SUV's should be off the road until their occupant demonstrates mastery in a road test specific to that vehicle.


The SUV driver may have to face charges. We don't have stand your ground laws in New York City.


Several things.

The notion that the driver is in danger of being the target of legal action is beyond comprehension.

He was attacked, and the accidental hitting of one of the perpetrators was just that...accidental.

Do the attackers really think that they could practically kill him, injure his wife, and put their only child in danger, and then get compensated? It is mindless!

He ran over the driver AFTER they bikers had slowed down, forcing him to slow down, almost not doing it in time to not actually touch the slowed down biker. Then, someone opened his door, and only after that, did he try to escape the situation because he was surrounded,

My husband and I attended Occupy events from September 17th through December of 2011.

I just read that the undercover cop that was arrested had infiltrated Occupy.

That would be par for the course. People trying to get fairness in our corrupt society being spied on by a corrupt cop.

I am not an idiot. I know that there are great and dedicated members of the police department.

But, there are also bullies and those who intimidate...because they can.

He PARTICIPATED in the attack.

Saying that he didn't want to blow his cover is absurd because there is no way, with cell phone images and cameras everywhere, that this attack was not going to be recorded many times over.

And, it took a brave father of ordinary put his life on the line to save that family.

Bloomberg, in a perfect world, would offer college scholarships for all of his children for such a noble and brave deed. What a life lesson that would be!

Thank you for continuing with this story. It is one for the ages...and must be learned from.


It is sad that a beautiful day was ruined for all involved.

The police officer clearly did not do his job to protect and serve.

The undercover cop should understand that the safety of the people outweighs the exposure of his identity. In addition, if he is worried about his exposure he should consider the group he is riding with.

I would like the NYPD to crack down on reckless operators of motorcycles, dirt bikes, and ATV's. We must also include the unlicensed, uninsured, powered bikes that race up and down the street without regard for traffic laws or pedestrian safety.

Clinton Hill

He should not have been riding with this group at all except if he was an uncover working
on a case pertaining to this specific group at the time. No excuse what so ever at all.
If he was wired while riding with them he could have pulled away and informed his backups.
This to me means only one thing and that is he was one of them because he never tried to
conceal his identity. They knew him and who he was.
They also filmed the action and also whether it was their film solely that identified all of
them or a combination of there’s and a bystander.

Believe me this is not anything new going on in our city in fact it’s a number of incidents
that are going on. Speeding of bikes, cars, etc. and we can’t forget the cell phones, radios
blasting and using the main streets as drag strips. [Gun it = to the floor]
Filthy streets and just in general this City and the five boroughs are going to hell.

Morris Park

All of those bikers should be sent to JAIL. They act like lawless, vulgar holigans. It breaks my heart to know a little child had to experience that. Shame on those bikers, shame, shame !!!!!!


NYPD Policy is that Police Officers are prohibited with associating with known felons.

The detective took an oath to protect and serve. It is dispicable that he a. took part in this menacing and assault. He is not representative of the hard-working men and women of the NYPD.

Kate (Retired NYPD)
Midtown East

The public is sick and tired of being threatened by these brutes.

If there had been no video then these brutes would be home free!

Only when the video put some fire to the feet of these police officers did some of them
come forward.

When the officer said he was not involved and the video showed that he was it shows that he lied from day one...if he will lie about that he has no credibility as a officer is shot!

Liar, liar, pants on fire. Called in a day late and a dollar short!

Throggs Neck

Since the motor cycle drivers are grown professional people instead of YOUNG THUGS. Maybe the public should reevaluate their hatred of bikers and look at this incident with clear eyes. I still haven't heard the reason why a man would drive his family into a convoy of bikes, or trucks, or a funeral procession. Something's not right with a person that does that. Did the bikes just fall out of the sky all around him?


It is very startling when a group of motorcyclists appears out of nowhere and swarms around and past cars on the road. It has happened to me several times in the New York area. Here in Astoria 2 people on a motorcycle were killed just a couple of weeks ago and my understanding is that they were way over the speed limit.


Yes, the NYPD should crack down on motorcyclists and bicyclists. Too often, irreversible injury is caused.

Also, not all cops are decent. Cops should not watch people being assaulted, and not do anything to stop the attack. Drivers who cause accidents s hould not flee the scene. People today are inhumane! I know why we love animals so much! They make us human!


Are the charges against the cops more a reaction to his cover-up rather than his actual actions. Mobs of motor cycles in east harlem are a frequent and frightening nuissance.


I am a resident in Harlem on beautiful street with wonderful neighbors. It's a perfect setting, with one exception: a band of bikers that rev & flaunt their toys up & down the street recklessly. They antagonize the residents & cops, alike ... and I've even seen them race up & down the sidewalks as the school is letting out. It's only a matter of time before someone is hurt... or worse.


The beginning of the video shows that instead of passing the SUV, the bikers decided to slow down and surround the SUV. Regardless, of a cop being there or not; violence not stopped, is violence condoned. Everybody is at fault.


In a sense there wasn't much the undercover officer could do if he tried to intervene between these mad bikers he, himself could have gotten hurt. Im these large groups you don't really know everyone else there. These physical altercations usually last a few seconds so a call to the cops wouldn't have done much beside blow his cover.


It is very frightening when you are on the highway with a convoy of cyclist. They are intimidating reckless and have no respect for motor vehicle drivers. They should not be allowed to ride on the highway without law enforcement escort


This Detective had other options that wouldn't have blown his "cover"
He could have called 911. He could have said something to those who
were attacking the driver. He could have attempted to physically grab
the biker who was breaking the window of the SUV.
There were other options available to him!!
None of those involved asked him to participate where he should
have felt the need to become a participant in attacking the vehicle!!

In my opinion he is a disgrace to the uniform and the hard working
members of the NYPD who put their lives on the line everyday.


The undercover cop was dead wrong for not trying to stop the incident. Had they killed the SUV driver he probably would not have come forward. There is a group of thugs inflicting bodily harm on someone, yet blowing his cover was more important to him than the life of the SUV driver. He should not have been with these bikers to begin with. Just wrong.


I think everyone in this whole situation has broken the law, including the driver of the SUV. None of them should possess drivers licenses.

Do we know why the man or his passenger in the SUV did not call 911 and ask for assistance? Did they not have cell phones?


*Editor's Note: Both the driver, Alexian Lien, and his wife made several calls to 911 during both the pursuit and attack that followed.

Not only should the cop have done something, but so should the PD -- hundreds of phone calls were made complaining about this. Bikers were blocking the highway entrances!

Why aren't people calling for the Police Commissioner's resignation? I can't understand why he continues to have so much support when we have such an unprofessional police department.And Bloomberg wanted him to run for mayor!!! Hopefully with the next mayor we will have a more professional PD (maybe with someone like Bratton as Commissioner).

FYI, Nick Paumgarten had an excellent comment on this in the "Talk of the Town" section of this week's New Yorker.

Turtle Bay

I live in Harlem, and one day a couple years ago a bike gang was coming from madison up to 5th ave and beyond and they were stopping all cars, and being very aggressive about it. Traffic completely backed up, one cabbie got very aggitated started honking alot. Like a swarm with one brain they started surrounding and closing in on the cabbie he almost crashed into another car trying to get away. The bikers think they are police they are very aggressive and they are out of control. It gets scary very fast, so I dont blame the driver for trying to get out of there. We need better policing for our city, and our children. I dont know what kind of undercover cop would attack a car with a baby in it.


I saw the group of bikers driving down my block in the south side of Williamsburg. They were blocking traffic and riding recklessly down the streets. The NYPD does an outstanding job 99% of the time but those things go unnoticed when officers take part in criminal acts.


There are two sides of the story, and then there's the truth, but a cop in the mix, brings more complexity to this situation. In my opinion, the SUV driver was panicked by the swarm of bikes, and accidentally ran over a biker. The bikers were enraged, they intimidated, and attacked the SUV driver and his family, who ended up getting severely beaten. The police officer did not take a role of responsibility, and used his off duty status as an excuse for poor judgement, he should be fired and incarcerated.


Retired police officer and raised in New York I see less crackdowns on what is obviously reckless teenagers whom I've seen riding dirt bikes at reckless speeds without helmets ,popping weelies under the Bloomberg administration than any other administration .I believe that bloombergs concern is to police illegally parked cars,expired meters and harassing the general public rather than attacking the real crimes that are real concern for New Yorkers quality of life.This administration concern has been generating money for the city by encouraging tourism,putting up the idiotic bike lanes.when I was a young man in the 70s we road at our own risks in the general traffic area or safely in Central Park.


This whole incident really disgusts me. Especially because my fiancé and I have been riding motorcycles safely for 20 plus years in ny. We enjoy leisurely rides with our friends up to bear mountain and enjoy looking at the foliage. This is upsetting for motorcyclists who are law abiding and careful riders because it give bikes a horrible name!

The whole thing just reeks. I mean a massive group of guys - some on illegal atvs and guys with no licenses - all revving their engines and riding in a very aggressive way. Shame on all of them. It's ridiculous. Grown men who need to pound their chests as a group to get attention. I'm positive that the whole vibe of the encounter by the sub driver left him feeling fearful for the safety of his wife and toddler. How could it not? I hope that all the information is gathered and those responsible for this horrible incident will be brought to justice. And the undercover officer? - shame on him especially! He wasn't sitting on the sidelines dialing 911 trying to decide what he should do - he was right in the middle of the action. Fire that guy! How do you watch someone getting pummeled and do nothing as a law enforcement officer?

I wish the best for the family, and I hope that people will understand that not all riders are like this. I'm sad that such an imbecilic incident happened in such an evolved city and I'm embarrassed by this group of idiot jerks.


Whether or not the detective was on duty he had a duty to act, a legal requirement to uphold the law.

I'm a motorcyclist and a civilian, and I would never have tolerated an attack on an individual in a car.


First of all im a retired NYPD police officer, it seems like everyone is saying that these cops were undercover. That would mean that they are working while riding which indeed they were not. They both were off duty acting as riders not NYPD. They both deserve what ever they get. Those riders always take over the road stop traffic to do there tricks, stunts and lots of nonsense. What the City should do is impound all there bike and demolish them. To me of you ride like they do it is the same as someone driving drunk or drag racing.

Tony (A biker for the past 23 years, retired NYPD)

Seeing the video on tv, It's another great example of blacks not being held accountable. Cops don't bother with them anymore.Ask one.

Ozone Park

They still kept going knowing their was a child in the SUV he shouldnt be back on the streets with a badge.


the media and public at large are now all out to get motorcyclist, you the media repeatedly show negative images unrelated to the incident and rally against us as though we are all the same. let someone hit you or your vehicle , drive away and let's see how u react. the SUV driver obviously saw color and based his actions on that

I in no way am saying that the undercover officer did the right thing but people have to understand that if the police would have started chasing the bikers and one the bikers would have crashed and been hurt the police department would have been slammed by the public. Those riders were not true bikers... They were thugs and causing trouble.

Kris (NYPD 1st grade detective)

The police officers representing the safety of NYC surely validates my belief of city government mentality; for lack of better discription, extremely simple and pretentious.
Motorist in NY are as bad as the bikers. I am not sure of the driver, yet. I believe in knowing all the facts...not just one side. Not ignoring the bikers...who were threatening. I am sure the driver had a cell phone in his car to phone as well! All are to blame, but the police officers should be convicted for assisting the riot.
I am blessed for being protected from eractic drivers, bikers and, yes, crazey predesterian.. I have been living in NY for almost 2 years and there is soo much death.

NY Police officers have an obligation to our safety.... but to a limit? (NY wastes time on eating and pretentious matters rather than cleaning up this city from the dirty policitians, copes, and its citizens'suffering for the lack of the NYC INTEGRITY).

NY laws are ignored by all its' citizens AND WORKERS WHO ADVOCATE THE seems. NY city just has a lot of mouth.

NY should be ashamed because you have NO excuse for all that has been allowed to happen TO THE PEOPLE WHO LOVE THIS CITY.

NYPD detectives, intelligence and patrol officers’ participation in the bike scandal provoke the question: what else are NYPD officers in involved in? The participation in illegal bike activities is what we see; could they just as easily be involved in other drug or weapons gang activities?

Also, this should be Bloomberg’s “bike” legacy. It’s ironic he would promote a multi-million dollar bicycle campaign while complaints about neighborhood bike gangs have been known to the NYPD, and by extension, the Bloomberg administration, for years.

The NYPD has $64 billion dollars in terrorism dollars, bit little of those resources are applied to protecting City residents from a growing and organized threat to public safety.


I am also a rider and this situation put a black eye on all of us... The officer should have done something(other than kick the guy) however these guy rode from bklyn to the city...and No single officer were around? There is More to blame here other than the bikers!!!


Living in Brooklyn I see biker groups daily riding along Fulton & Atlantic Ave. I never had an issue other than finding them a nuisance. Not because I dislike motorcycles; I've actually grown up riding them and Atv's. Reason being, I am not comfortable with the "outlaw" mentality some of these groups have.

I'm surprised there hasn't been any mention/comparison to a NY filmmaker's recent documentary named "12 O'clock Boys". The documentary followed one of Baltimore's urban bike groups. The participants in these "packs" are only interesting in disrupting the peace and acting out. Whoever can pull the craziest maneuver or take control of the street/traffic gets the most cred. It's all about the havoc. It would be interesting to hear this filmmaker's opinion on the NYC attack.

I am curious though... did Mr. or Mrs. Lien ever call 911 at any time?


That officer definetly needs to loose his job.. Its a disgrace... I will guarantee you that if the guy on the Range Rover was a cop...None of this would have happened.

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