As more details emerge concerning the encounter on a New York highway involving participants in a motorcycle rally and a sport-utility vehicle, it is becoming clear that the true victims are the family in the SUV.
It is unfortunate that biker Edwin Mieses Jr. of Lawrence was severely injured in the incident. We hope he recovers. But such are the consequences of being a participant in a lawless mob.
The incident occurred in late September on Manhattan’s Henry Hudson Parkway. A large and extended group of motorcyclists was advancing up the highway. As seen in videos of the incident and reported in several stories, the motorcycles passed a Range Rover SUV driven by Alexian Lien. Also in the vehicle were his wife and their 2-year-old daughter.
A motorcycle driven by Christopher Cruz slowed dramatically in front of the SUV and was bumped, causing a crash. Bikers swarmed around the stopped vehicle and Lien sped off, running over Mieses, who was left with broken legs and spinal injuries. His family says he may never walk again.
Lien’s wife said he fled because he was in fear for his family’s safety. His fears were justified.
The bikers pursued the SUV up the highway until it was trapped in traffic. The bikers pulled Lien from the vehicle and beat him severely. They smashed windows and slashed the tires of the Range Rover.
Several bikers, including Cruz, have been arrested and charged in the incident. Among those recently charged was Wojciech Braszczok, an off-duty police detective. Braszczok was an “active participant” in the attack on Lien’s car, prosecutors said. He did nothing to stop it, didn’t report it to his superiors for two days, and then when did, he lied about it, changing his story to say he saw the attack but didn’t participate, Assistant District Attorney Samantha Turino told the Associated Press.
No charges have been filed against Lien.
Family members are demanding “justice” for Mieses and portraying him as a victim in the incident. The family has hired high-profile attorney Gloria Allred to make their case.
Allred said at a Manhattan news conference that Mieses’ family deplores what happened to Lien. But Mieses had nothing to do with that, she said. He was trying to get his fellow riders away from the SUV.
“His sole intention was to defuse the situation,” Allred said.
Mieses may not have participated in the beating of Lien nor made any threatening gestures toward him. He may even have been actively trying to defuse the situation. But his involvement in the incident is not entirely innocent.
Mieses had no right to be driving at all that day, in New York or anywhere else. A habitual traffic offender, his right to drive has been suspended since 1999. He has since compiled numerous violations for driving without a license and other traffic offenses.
He also has a six-page criminal record that includes drug and firearms offenses.
Mieses’ poor judgment extends to the company he keeps. The motorcyclists he joined in the New York “rally” Sept. 29 were no casual bikers out for a weekend cruise to some scenic landmark. Internet videos of this and similar rallies show them running red lights, driving on sidewalks and the wrong side of the road, performing dangerous stunts in the middle of the street and generally terrorizing innocent drivers and pedestrians.
These bikers, bluntly, were a lawless mob. Those who engage in lawlessness have little cause for complaint when they suffer the consequences of that behavior.