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DA: Motorcyclist had key role in NYC SUV brawl

By Jennifer Peltz

Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 01:39 a.m. HST, Oct 07, 2013

NEW YORK >> 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.

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sailfish1 wrote:
ALL the bikers that were there need to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Fortunately, there was a real man there, Sergio Consuegra, who probably saved the suv driver's life and prevented harm to the wife and 3 year old child.
on October 6,2013 | 02:26PM
entrkn wrote:
Looked to me like the suv driver was using the suv as a weapon before anything else happened...
on October 6,2013 | 03:33PM
solobiker1 wrote:
For all of you who have no idea. The bikers , drifters and care racing clubs . All do the same e thing when the want the road for illegal use. .The try and remove all traffic in front of themselves. They do this by slowing down and blocking all traffic . They have used cell phones to communicate and make sure no cops on the road. It is very dangerous for any one on the road. They do this in every state. Hope they all go to jail for a long time. The suv driver did the only thing he could. to protect his family in a city that doesn't allow it citizens to carry a gun.:-)
on October 6,2013 | 04:34PM
Publicbraddah wrote:
If you and your family was surrounded by a group of bikers harassing you and you felt your family was in danger, wouldn't you do the same thing? I'm gonna guess you're a biker, right? I realize most bikers are cool but there are some who want to be looked at as being "bad" which is really BAD.
on October 7,2013 | 06:54AM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Just need to keep cool heads, as any confrontation can lead to bigger confrontations. We are all animals by nature and the only difference between us and other living things is our Brain, which according to research has a frontal lobe, left hemisphere, right hemisphere and all that. As they say, it takes at least two to keep a confrontation to escalate and if things get out of control, watch out! We cannot have a police officer watching each of us every minute of every day, unless the name is Obama.
on October 6,2013 | 03:41PM
false wrote:
Kudos to Mr.Consuegra, a true hero. This incident was pure thuggery by the bikers. Edwin Mieses is dying because of his own actions. He and the rest of the bikers have absolutely no sympathy here and deserve to be put in prison or the mortuary.
on October 6,2013 | 03:42PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
I seen the video and it appeared the driver of the SUV went into a biker from the back, which is always the fault of the person in the back no matter what, because (a) tailgating is only for football games, although I suppose Aloha Stadium will be empty soon and (b) that is the way it is.
on October 6,2013 | 03:56PM
false wrote:
I think you are one of a very few that saw it that way. This was pure gang incited mayhem. I reiterate, hope they are fined, jailed and dead.
on October 6,2013 | 04:53PM
hornswoggler wrote:
Wrong. Check around, there are about 7 other videos taken by the same guy who took the one we've all seen of these bikers acting like idiots on the road. There is even another one of them surrounding a small car and punching an occupant through the window. They do this on purpose, cut in front of a car, slam on the brakes and get bumped. They then stop the motorist and demand compensation. They target cars luxury cars, like Range Rovers, since the drivers usually have money.
on October 6,2013 | 07:15PM
Papakolea wrote:
New York police had received over 200 complaints about this gang because they were causing all kinds of mayhem on the roads.
on October 6,2013 | 08:02PM
RichardCory wrote:
Fun fact: There's more to the story than what you saw on video.
on October 6,2013 | 09:43PM
mamacita808 wrote:
No, the biker got hit because he cut in front of the SUV and did a brake check, which was a very stupid thing to do when you have an 8k vehicle coming at you from the back.
on October 7,2013 | 07:32AM
medigogo wrote:
No. It's unsafe lane change that caused the bump. You can't abruptly cut into another lane in front of another car.
on October 7,2013 | 10:55AM
LittleEarl_01 wrote:
I've seen the same thing here on Oahu. In one case I witnessed several motorcyclist block an intersection to allow the remainding club members to proceed through a red light. And they wonder WHY the average motorist think they're just "gangs."
on October 6,2013 | 05:43PM
mamacita808 wrote:
My husband and I both ride bikes with a club. The person/people you saw blocking on coming traffic is called a road guard. That is done to allow the entire club to stay together and ride safely. To have a vehicle in the middle of a group of motorcycles is dangerous.
on October 7,2013 | 07:30AM
primo1 wrote:
To have a large group of motorcycles riding together and stopping traffic unnecessarily is dangerous. It's also illegal.
on October 7,2013 | 08:31AM
st1d wrote:
brave man, consuegra. to step in and stop the rioting bikers assaulting lien.how brave was he? none of the other bikers (who are not a gang, but doctors, lawyers, teachers, according to mieses' wife) watching the assault tried to control the rioting bikers assaulting lien. the bikers are lucky lien did not continue to use his vehicle to protect his family.

i leave at least one car length between me and the car ahead of me at a stop light, just in case someone tries to hijack the car or attacks my car. it's just enough room to manuever defensively.

on October 6,2013 | 06:07PM
localguy wrote:
Chances are the majority of the involved bikers were of low IQ, social skills, typical wanna be gangsters. Not the prime of the gene pool. Naturally the Rent An Attorney will try to spin their clients failure to act as a member of the human race as someone elses fault. All the busted ones were trying to stop the problem, were trying to prevent violence. Pure shibai. Rent a lawyer, Gloria Allred, is not being up front with all the facts about her client. NY Police have reported Edwin "Jay" Mieses did not have a valid driver's or motorcycle license. In June, the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles notified the National Driver Register that Mieses' right to drive in the state was revoked until 2017 for habitual traffic offenses, according to a Boston Globe report. The fact Edwin willfully violated the law in riding a motorcycle makes him solely responsible for his injuries. Had he not been riding illegally he would not have been there, no injury would have resulted. Gloria will have to tell her client he bears full responsibility for his injuries. You can't fix a stupid client. Nice try Gloria but twice nothing is still nothing. You might try going after the criminals who were responsible for organizing the ride. They too knew it was illegal and chose to willfully violate the law. Hold them accountable.
on October 6,2013 | 08:47PM
localguy wrote:
Word is all the bikers suffer from a rare male problem called "M i c r o D i c k" So they try to use the motorcycle to make up for what their body failed them with. Sad........
on October 6,2013 | 08:50PM
BigdogMD wrote:
This comment proves my point that the SA should have some sort of IQ test that one needs to pass prior to posting.
on October 7,2013 | 09:15AM
RetiredWorking wrote:
IRT Bigdog, agree. One should also need to pass a psych eval before posting too. Mean people here.
on October 7,2013 | 04:26PM
poidogg66 wrote:
The three off duty policemen riding with the motocycle group should have done something.
on October 7,2013 | 12:43AM
serious wrote:
Like what?
on October 7,2013 | 08:39AM
RetiredWorking wrote:
IRT serious, like what? Like identifying themselves, stepping towards the vehicle and protecting that family from harm. That's what. However, I do not believe any off duty cops would jeopardize their careers by practicing illegal behaviors. I might be wrong, no one knows.
on October 7,2013 | 09:56AM
RetiredWorking wrote:
Sergio is a true hero. He did exactly what needed to be done. It took a LOT of courage to do that. If he had tried to physicallty tried to restrain or attack any perp, they would've swarmed and hurt him. Unlike false the poster who advises witnesses to use common sense, don't get involved and mind their own business, Sergio is a true hero. False is a wimp. If Sergio had used common sense, didn't get involved and minded his business, Lien would've been injured more seriously or killed.
on October 7,2013 | 06:39AM
loquaciousone wrote:
I believe we are now in the brassballs era. Everyone's a victim.
on October 7,2013 | 07:02AM
mudsprkt1 wrote:
Should have been looking for a JOB instead riding around causing trouble......hmmmmm
on October 7,2013 | 08:47AM
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