New York police have arrested Craig Wright, 29, in the case of an altercation between a group of motorcyclists and the driver of an SUV in Manhattan last month. One motorcyclist, Edwin Meises Jr., was seriously injured after the car struck him, and the driver, Alexian Lien, required stitches after the riders beat him, according to police. The incident was partially caught on camera, and the footage has been widely viewed online.
As the Associated Press reports, the riders surrounded Lien’s vehicle and forced him to stop, apparently after a minor collision between the car and one of the motorcycles. Then some of the riders began attacking the car, a Range Rover, according to police. Lien sped off, apparently concerned about his wife and 2-year-old child, who were in the car with him.
As he accelerated, he struck Mieses, who might be paralyzed as a result of his injuries. The riders pursued Lien, and when they caught up with him, pulled him from the Range Rover and beat him, police said.
A plainclothes police detective was riding with the group, but did not intervene to avoid revealing himself, his lawyer said:
The detective joined the pack of riders . . . because he thought there had been a hit-and-run, said attorney Phil Karasyk with the Detectives’ Endowment Association.
The detective was off-duty when he joined the Sept. 29 rally, Karasyk said. While off-duty officers are expected to act if they see a crime, undercover officers do so only in rare circumstances.
Karasyk said the detective, who had no gun or badge with him, was conscious of cases where officers blew cover only to be suspended or dismissed for doing so.
“He had no other option, so he drove away,” he said.
The detective did not report his presence there until three days later. Chief police spokesman John McCarthy said the officer was stripped of his gun and badge while internal affairs investigates the delay.
The other cyclists who have been charged are Christopher Cruz, 28; Robert Sims, 35; and Reginald Chance, 38. Lien has not been charged.
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