Bikers: Off-camera acts led to NYC driver run-in

Published on NewsOK Modified: October 11, 2013 at 9:14 am •  Published: October 11, 2013
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NEW YORK (AP) — It's a dramatic case built on amateur video that went viral — footage of motorcycles swarming around an SUV on a highway, the driver plowing over a biker to escape and a high-speed chase that ends with the driver pulled out and beaten in front of his family.

But as compelling as the footage is, it doesn't answer a key question: What happened before the cameras were turned on?

Nearly two weeks later, some bikers are suggesting SUV driver Alexian Lien, knowingly or not, instigated the confrontation off-camera earlier by clipping one of the bikes on the Henry Hudson Parkway in Manhattan.

Authorities are looking into everything that unfolded along the ride's path from lower to upper Manhattan, including the possibility a motorcyclist hit the SUV, not the other way around, and broke its side mirror before the encounters on the video, said a law enforcement official, who hadn't been authorized to discuss the inquiry and spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity.

Investigators are looking for other helmet-camera videos of the ride, which spurred 911 calls about the bikers' behavior before the SUV driver's beating.

Gloria Allred, the attorney representing Edwin Mieses Jr., the biker who was crushed, claims Lien bumped another motorcycle while changing lanes 2 to 3 miles before his SUV knocked into biker Christopher Cruz.

"We have evidence that he hit that (first) bike and didn't stop," Allred said by phone.

Mieses, of Lawrence, Mass., didn't see any earlier encounter but got off his motorcycle to defuse the tense situation and was headed back when he was hit from behind by the SUV, she said. He broke his legs and suffered a spine injury and likely is paralyzed, his family has said.

Allred declined to say what other witnesses had contacted her, but another biker who participated in the rally, Louis Castaldo, gave a similar account in an interview on Fox 5 News.

Castaldo said that when bikers tried to approach Lien's Range Rover, Lien "decides to run over three or four people. ... He should have just apologized."