The wife of a motorcyclist who was hit by an SUV during a melee involving 20 to 30 bikers said her husband is paralyzed from the waist down and may never walk again.
Dayana Mejia told ABC News today that her husband was struck by a Range Rover, setting off a confrontation between the driver and motorcyclists taking part in a group ride in New York City on Sunday.
The SUV driver fled the scene of an initial fender bender after feeling intimidated, police said. The group of motorcyclists chased him and then bashed in the windows of the Range Rover, dragged him out into the street, and beat him up while his wife and 2-year-old child watched from the SUV, police said.
Two of the motorcyclists involved in the confrontation are in custody, one of whom has been charged, according to New York police officials.
- Bikers surrounded Range Rover driver, causing accident and injuries to at least two motorcyclists on Sunday.
- Range Rover fled, but bikers chased and then beat the driver, Alexian Lien.
Law enforcement sources confirmed the driver of the Range Rover was Alexian Lien. Lien received minor injuries and police are searching for suspects involved in his assault, they said.
Mejia's husband, Edwin Mieses, 32, a father of two and an audio engineer, is in critical condition at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital in New York following Sunday's incident.
In an emotional interview, Mieses' mother, Yolanda Santiago, told ABC News that Lien should be charged with reckless endangerment.
"My son is fighting for his life. The Range Rover plowed right over him,'' Santiago said through tears on the front porch of her Lawrence, Mass., home.
"He's never going to be the same Jay he was,'' said Santiago, referring to her son by his nickname. Then she began to weep into her hands. "Why hasn't the driver been charged with reckless endangerment? He endangered his own child."
Mieses' wife also expressed anger at Lien.
"I blame him. And what I even blame him more for is he's out, he's not even charged, and he's the 'victim,'" Mejia said.
"His spine is crushed. All the ribs on this side are broken," she said, motioning to her left side. "He's a survivor but he's paralyzed from the waist down."
The confrontation began when the group of motorcyclists, out for an annual ride in Manhattan, surrounded Lien's Range Rover and slowed down. One biker cut off the Range Rover in traffic and then slowed his speed even further, and the Range Rover then bumped into the bike.
New York City police said today that the driver of that motorcycle was Christopher Cruz of Passaic, N.J., who was arrested. A second motorcyclist, Allen Edwards, turned himself into police in Queens today for questioning and is in custody, police said.
Cruz has been charged with reckless endangerment, acting in manner injurious to a child, menacing and reckless driving, police said.
The initial accident caused the bikers to slow down, checking on Cruz and yelling and gesturing at the Range Rover. The driver of the Range Rover then took off from the group at a high speed, barreling through the motorcyclists and hitting three of them, police said.
One of the men Lien hit was Mieses, according to his wife.
"He should have not run away," said Mejia. "He should have known he wanted to help the person on the floor. By running away, all you're doing is getting them upset like you're trying to flee the scene."
"He still has bumper marks on his forehead,'' Mieses' brother Ray Cepeda told ABC News.
The rest of the bikers then chased Lien's Range Rover up the West Side Highway and onto the Henry Hudson Parkway, where they bashed his car with their helmets, dragged Lien out of the vehicle and beat him.
The man being questioned by police is thought to be responsible for pulling the Range Rover's driver out of the vehicle, cops said.
The entire confrontation was captured on a six-minute helmet-cam video taken by one of the bikers and uploaded to the Internet.
Police are now combing through the video and witness accounts to find other suspects involved in the attack.
The NYPD distributed a still from the video of two suspects wanted in the assault on the driver and said that one bike had a flag sticker of Guyana on the back. The drivers are still being sought.
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said Monday that the driver would not face charges for hitting bikers, including Mieses, as he fled.