October 3, 2013 New York City (WCVB) – black range rover hits a sport bike while the driver appears to be engaging in some sort of stunt. About 30+ other people surround the range rover. A wild pursuit through New York City ensues.
An Asian man is eventually pulled out of the Range Rover by several black men and beaten in the street.
Christopher Cruz, a motorcyclist who prosecutors say triggered a chain of events that led to an intense confrontation between the driver of an SUV and a group of bikers, was arraigned Wednesday.
He is charged with reckless driving, reckless endangerment, endangering the welfare of a child, menacing and unlawful imprisonment, reports CBS New York. His bail was set at $1,500 cash.
Cruz, of Passaic, N.J., also had his license suspended and was ordered to turn over his passport, reports the station.
His attorney, H. Benjamin Perez, said his client denies the allegations.
“He will come back to fight this case and clear his name,” Perez said, reports the station.
Cruz was arrested Tuesday in connection the incident.
A second motorcyclist, identified as 42-year-old Allen Edwards of Queens, was also taken into custody Tuesday after turning himself in but the Manhattan district attorney’s office says it decided not to prosecute him.
An Internet video shows a group of bikers surrounding the SUV on the West Side Highway on Sunday after an altercation. The SUV driver took off, plowing through the crowd. Police say the bikers chased the driver, ambushed his car and attacked him.
The driver needed stitches. His wife and toddler were in the car but weren’t injured.
CBS News correspondent Don Dahler reported on “CBS This Morning” Wednesday that the driver is not facing any charges, but the New York City police commissioner did not rule that out Tuesday, saying the investigation is ongoing.
The video of the confrontation has already gotten more than 4 million hits on YouTube and begins when one of the riders is seen slowing down directly in front of the SUV. Police say that was deliberate.
Alexian Lein, 33, his wife and their child were in the black Range Rover Sunday when dozens of bikers forced them to a stop in the middle of the highway. It’s still unclear why, but police say they started attacking the SUV and then the driver hit the gas.
“When you look at the video, you can see he’s running over something,” said the biker’s wife, Diana Mieses. “It’s not just a motorcycle; it’s a human being that was under there.”
The family of biker Jay Mieses said he was seriously injured when the SUV plowed into several bikers.
“He got scared and peeled off and paralyzed my husband on the way,” Mieses said.
Yolando Santiago, the injured biker’s mother, said that all of her son’s ribs are fractured and his lungs are so badly bruised that he is still on a ventilator.
“We believe he has two broken legs, and he’s intubated, and he may be paralyzed,” New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said.
However, Kelly would not say whether the SUV driver was right or wrong in what he did.
“You have to look at the totality of the circumstances and that’s what we’re doing,” said Kelly.
Whether the SUV driver ran over the bikers because he felt threatened is still to be determined, and the situation only escalated from that point.
There was a drawn-out chase that ended with one biker smashing the window of the SUV and another punching the rear passenger window.
The video evidence stops here, but investigators say moments later the bikers grabbed the driver and assaulted him.
Some of the bikers are part of a group called Hollywood Stuntz, which holds an annual gathering with the goal of riding through Times Square.
“This particular group did not ask for a permit,” said Kelly. “We had over 200 calls just on Sunday about this particular group operating in a reckless manner.”
The SUV driver went to the hospital for stitches and was released. CBS News reached out to him and his family for their side of the story, but so far there has been no response.
NYC Motorcycle Attack Update: Christopher Cruz, suspect in NYC road rage incident, arraigned, NYC, New York City, Road Rage, Assault, Motorcycle, Attack, Christopher Cruz, Black, New York,