I would guess that many of you have seen the video of an attack on a family in a black SUV by a group of motorcyclists on the streets of New York City.  Well, truth be told, one of these attackers was one of that cities’ “finest.”  An off-duty, undercover police detective was arrested as fallout from a burst of motorcyclist mayhem reached a new level, with investigators saying the off-duty officer was shown on video hitting and kicking an SUV before bikers attacked its driver.

Wojciech Braszczok, who was off-duty, when he joined a motorcycle rally that spiraled into violence, was expected to be arraigned Wednesday.  He surrendered Tuesday to face riot and criminal mischief charges.

This so-called 10 year veteran of the NYPD is a liar who had previously said that he only witnessed other bikers attacking the vehicle.

But investigators discovered video evidence showing Braszczok punching an already damaged back window, and then twice kicking the side of the SUV before leaving the scene, according to two people familiar with the case.  The arrest added to the complexities of the Sept. 29 episode, which authorities say began with a reckless motorcycle group ride on a Manhattan highway. Ultimately, one motorcyclist was run over, and the SUV driver was dragged from behind the wheel and beaten on a street.  Before Braszczok’s arrest, four other bikers were criminally charged.  The latest was arraigned Tuesday on gang assault and other charges.  Late Tuesday, a fifth person, Clint Caldwell, was arrested on gang assault and other charges.

NYPD internal affairs investigators began looking into the undercover detective’s conduct because he didn’t report having been at the rally until three days later.  The expectation that police officers will act if they see crimes isn’t the same for undercover officers.

The encounter, captured partly on a helmet-mounted-camera video that was posted online, began when about two dozen riders surrounded the Range Rover after it bumped a biker on the West Side Highway.  Some riders dismounted and approached the SUV, and police said some bikers began damaging it.  SUV driver Alexian Lien took off, running over motorcyclist Edwin “Jay” Mieses Jr., of Lawrence, Mass.  The impact broke Mieses’ legs and caused spinal injuries that may leave him paralyzed.  Lien’s wife has said he fled to protect her and their 2-year-old daughter.  Lien hasn’t been charged with any crime.

The bikers pursued the SUV. After it ducked off the highway and got mired in street traffic, motorcyclists shattered the driver’s-side window, pulled Lien out and beat and kicked him, police and prosecutors said.  Lien needed stitches.  Craig Wright, who was arraigned Tuesday, reportedly punched Lien through the broken window and joined in stomping him on the street; and his bail was set at $100,000.

A member of the detectives union defended the actions of Braszczok, by saying that since he was not carrying a badge or gun, and aware that officers have sometimes been suspended or fired for blowing their covers, “he had no other option, so he drove away.”

So much for the police motto of “protect and serve.”

 

Advertisements