Black SUV driven by Alexian Lien, 33, is seen surrounded by motorcyclists who police say followed Lien and eventually pulled him from his car and beat him. / WCBS/Facebook
NEW YORK (CBS/AP) Police have made two arrests stemming from a road rage incident in Manhattan in which, they say, a group of motorcycle riders assaulted a driver in front of his wife and young daughter.
Christopher Cruz, 28, was charged with reckless endangerment, reckless menacing and endangering the welfare of a child. Tuesday afternoon a second man was arrested in connection with the case.
The incident happened on Sunday and was captured on a 6-minute video shared on several websites. It appeared to have been taken from a camera mounted on a biker's helmet, reports CBS New York station WCBS-TV.
It shows a series of confrontations between the motorcyclists and the driver of a black SUV after it had just hit one of the motorcycles, which appeared to swerve in front of him and slow down on the Henry Hudson Parkway.
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly says the collision appeared to be accidental.
Then, about 30 seconds into the video, the bikes come to a complete stop on the highway, surrounding the Range Rover.
An unidentified biker can be seen getting off his bike and walking toward the SUV as the other motorcyclists looked on.
"They take their helmets and they start to dent his car, and apparently his tires are slashed there," Kelly said.
The SUV then hits the gas, plowing over three motorcyclists and leaving one of the bikers with a broken leg.
For the next couple of minutes in the video, the bikers are seen chasing the Range Rover through Manhattan until about the 4:50 mark, when traffic forces the car to slow down.
That's when a biker can be seen running up to the SUV and yanking open the driver's side door as the driver of the Range Rover again guns the engine in an attempt to get away, knocking over a bike as it speeds off.
The bikers give chase again as the Range Rover heads into the Washington Heights area of Manhattan.
The video ends when the SUV gets stuck in traffic on a street off the highway. As the bikers surround the Range Rover yet again, one of the riders can be seen jumping off his bike, ripping off his helmet and using it to bash in the driver's side window.
A second biker can also be seen running up and hitting the driver's side rear window with his fists.
"He's taken out of the car, (and) he is assaulted," Kelly said of the driver.
Police said the driver of the SUV, 33-year-old Alexian Lien, had his wife and infant daughter inside the car at the time of the incident. The driver had called 911 to report the bikers were driving erratically, police said.
Lien was taken to a hospital where he received stitches for cuts to his face and was released, police said. He will not face any charges, authorities said.
"One of the bicyclists, he got off his bike, and he started attacking the person in the Range Rover with his helmet, breaking the windows," witness Christopher Quinones told WCBS. "And after they got him out of his car, they beat him up."
According to the person who posted the video online, the bikers were participating in an annual street ride in the city.
Kelly said it was similar to an event last year with dozens of bikers, who call themselves "Hollywood Stunts," converging on Times Square.
"This is a major stunt event where motorcyclists from various locations come together. Their ultimate goal is to get into Times Square, which they did last year," Kelly said. "Quite frankly, it wasn't on anybody's radar screen last year. We were aware of it this year."
To try to keep group from heading into Midtown Manhattan this year, police set up checkpoints throughout the city. Kelly said during that effort, 15 arrests were made, 68 summonses were issues and 55 motorcycles were confiscated.
New York police offered some tips on what to do if you are confronted with a similar circumstance of road rage.
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