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Official: New York undercover cop present at bike rally

By Colleen Long

Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 02:58 p.m. HST, Oct 05, 2013

NEW YORK >> Authorities are investigating whether an undercover police officer present at a motorcycle rally witnessed a violent confrontation between an SUV driver and a swarm of bikers and didn't immediately report it, a law enforcement official said today.

The officer came forward several days after the Sept. 29 rally to say he was present, according to the official, who was not authorized to speak publicly about the investigation and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity. The officer has an attorney, and internal affairs detectives are trying to determine whether he witnessed the assault on the SUV driver, the official said.

New York Police Department spokesman John McCarthy said a detective had been stripped of his gun and badge pending the outcome of an internal affairs investigation.

McCarthy said internal affairs was investigating the case and looking into whether any off-duty officers may have been present.

Undercover officers are required to immediately report being a witness to a crime. Uniformed officers are required to take police action if they see a crime occurring, but the rules are murkier for undercover officers who face blowing their cover, confusing civilians who don't realize the undercover is really a cop and ruining yearslong investigations.

For example, Gescard Isnora, an undercover officer involved in the fatal police shooting of an unarmed man after his bachelor party in 2006, stepped out of his role and fired a shot as officers opened fire on Sean Bell and his friends. Isnora was fired and lost his pension after a departmental trial ruling that he should not have shot his weapon while undercover.

Last weekend, dozens of bikers stopped the Range Rover SUV on a highway, attacked the vehicle, then chased the driver and pulled him from the car after he plowed over a motorcyclist while trying to escape, police said. The driver, Alexian Lien, needed stiches after being pummeled by the bikers.

The motorcyclist who was crushed by the SUV, Edwin Mieses Jr., of Lawrence, Mass., suffered a broken spine and two broken legs and may never walk again, his family said.

Some of the encounter was captured on a camera mounted on the helmet of one of the bikers and was posted online. Investigators have been interviewing dozens of bikers and witnesses, but it still remains unclear how many people attacked Lien. On Saturday, police said two other motorcyclists were taken into custody and released a photograph of another man they say they want to question in connection with the attack.

Robert Sims, 35, of Brooklyn, was arraigned Saturday in Manhattan on charges of first-degree gang assault, first-degree assault and third-degree criminal possession of a weapon. Bail was set at $100,000.

An attorney for the 35-year-old Sims did not immediately return a call for comment. There was no listed telephone number for Sims at the address where police said he lived. Police have said he took part in the attack on Lien.

He is the third person to face formal charges in connection with the attack, though the case against one of those motorcyclists was subsequently dismissed when prosecutors said they needed more time to investigate.

Police also detained another Brooklyn man Friday who they believed had participated in the attack. As of Saturday, formal charges had not been filed, authorities said.

Lien has not been charged. His wife said in a statement this week they feared for their lives as they drove off.

Mieses' family held a news conference Friday with their lawyer in which they said that he wasn't doing anything wrong when he was struck by Lien's SUV. They acknowledged that Mieses had stopped his bike in front of the family's vehicle but said he was trying to get the other riders to leave the family alone when he was hit.

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allie wrote:
on October 5,2013 | 01:02PM
RetiredWorking wrote:
all-lie would have a field day if it happened west side Oahu.
on October 5,2013 | 02:43PM
false wrote:
Other reports show a black undercover cop. Is it any wonder why he didn't report the incident? Yes, protect your own.
on October 5,2013 | 01:27PM
BigdogMD wrote:
I'm a Harley rider, I ride every single day to work. If I'm in Lien's shoes with my family in that vehicle, I wouldn't have done what he did. Instead, I would have rammed any dudes that decided to continue to chase the vehicle.
on October 5,2013 | 02:44PM
onwardupward wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on October 5,2013 | 04:21PM
BigdogMD wrote:
Again, your comment proves my theory that the SA should have some sort of IQ test that one needs to pass prior to posting.
on October 7,2013 | 09:20AM
livinginhawaii wrote:
I can't stand the noise those Harley's make - the cops really need to crack down on the noise ordinance to get those things off the street. I haven't heard one yet in Makiki that is actually in compliance with Hawaii's law.
on October 5,2013 | 05:35PM
Papakolea wrote:
I can handle the Harley rumble. I can't stand the whining of the souped up mopeds....
on October 5,2013 | 09:50PM
SteveToo wrote:
It's those Japanese bikes that put out that high pitched scream that is a pain in the ear. The deep roar of a Harley is not that bad. Ever notice on the freeway that it's the guys in the Japan bikes that are the crazy drivers? Most Harley bikers drive safe and no I don' own a bike.
on October 6,2013 | 09:02AM
scooters wrote:
The driver should have reversed his SUV when stopped the last time and took out a few more of those hoodlums.
on October 5,2013 | 04:02PM
RetiredWorking wrote:
I hope the driver recovers fully and sues the pants off of every motorcyclist involved.
on October 5,2013 | 05:22PM
katana77 wrote:
I agree....something similar is happening on Oahu as well with young guys in car clubs on the weekends and nights. They run in a pack of 10 - 20 cars, slow traffic to a crawl on the freeway and H3 to let the other front racers use the road as a race way. It puts a lot of innocent people in harm's way when they do this. It also occurs a lot on H1 late at night. Same mentality....hopefully some blown gaskets or damaged tires are in their future.
on October 6,2013 | 08:37AM
false wrote:
Before bashing any vehicle's window because of retaliation, people should use some common sense and be aware that the driver might have a concealed weapon in his glove compartment. Trying to act macho and disregard all consequences, wouldn't be the wise thing to do, but to wait for law enforcement, because a driver may shoot the culprit in self defense and a life taken, is not worth acting in an uncontrolled manner.
on October 5,2013 | 07:49PM
localguy wrote:
NY has some of the most strict gun laws in the nation. But what if the driver had pulled out a taser and started shooting people with it. True, the driver could have tried to sideswipe the riders, knocking them down, but he didn't. I think he just wanted to get away from the motorcycle gang of thieves as fast as he could. Watch for NYPD to really crack down on any future gang rides.
on October 6,2013 | 09:51AM
DABLACK wrote:
Will Al and Jesse get involved ??
on October 6,2013 | 07:34AM
Graham wrote:
Yeah...when pigs fly...
on October 6,2013 | 07:57AM
none wrote:
Civilization is slowly evolving to a mad max world.
on October 6,2013 | 08:50AM
localguy wrote:
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. Nice try Gloria but twice nothing is still nothing. Sometimes you just can't fix stupid as in your client. 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 | 09:47AM
BigdogMD wrote:
What IS hilarious is her defense of his not having a license. She argues that it did not matter that he didn't have a license because at the time of the injury, he had parked his bike and was in the process of approaching Lien's vehicle. OMFG, can these lawyers actually hear themselves? I think of a man, and then I take away all logic and accountability....
on October 7,2013 | 01:32PM
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