There is a lot of misinformation coming out about biker attack in New York last week, much of it from the media. (Click the links above if you don’t know which I mean.) In this post I want to address the claim that Alexian Lien knocked a rider over and that the most seriously injured biker, Jay Mieses, was only stopping to help a fellow rider.
The original video is at the bottom of this post. After viewing each of the still frames below and reading my commentary, you will have a much better understanding about what is happening in the video and how some are misrepresenting the incident. You can click the image to enlarge in a new window.
At the start of the video, one thing you should note is that Lien’s Range Rover is ahead of the motorcycles. Maybe not all of them, but ahead of the main group. This is important because many bikers are claiming Lien drove through their group from behind. They claim he was speeding and driving recklessly, which is why they wanted him to stop.
Here at the beginning, we see several bikers approaching Mr. Lien’s Range Rover. One biker identified as Christopher Cruz pushes into Lien’s lane. Lien allows him to enter in front of him.
Cruz accelerates widening the gap behind himself and Lien’s SUV. Cruz looks back then applies his brakes. (You can see the brake light come on in the video, especially when in full screen.) The bike abruptly slows.
Lien is, no doubt, checking all the bikes now crowding around his vehicle. He brakes quickly, but not fast enough. The SUV apparently makes light contact with the bike’s rear wheel. The entire time, Cruz is looking back at the SUV.
Cruz apparently doesn’t know the SUV touched him. It is possible no contact was ever made! Cruz continues riding for a moment. Lien slows to a stop. The other bikers begin slowing down and looking back, and so does Cruz.
Now Cruz, reportedly injured with two broken legs, begins “walking” his bike back to the SUV. (That is, he remains straddling the bike while rolling backward using his feet to push.)
As Cruz makes his way back to the SUV, other bikers stop and begin dismounting their bikes. Jay Mieses is one of those bikers.
Cruz has reached the SUV. He gets off his bike and approaches the driver’s side door. Mieses walks toward the SUV as well. His family is claiming he stopped to help an injured biker, but up until this point, no bikers have been injured and none are in need of help. Notice how many bikers are stopping around the SUV.
Note the time on this still frame, because when you watch the video, you can see Cruz take a swing at the door or the window of the SUV. (You may need to watch in full screen to see it.) Other bikers have surrounded the Range Rover. At least one tire has been slashed. Mieses is one of many in standing in front of the vehicle.
Feeling threatened and concerned about the safety of his family, Alexian Lien decides to flee the situation. Jay Mieses is run down and seriously wounded. He is not helping anyone, he is not offering aid to anyone, he is blocking Lien’s SUV.
I hope these still frames make it a little easier to understand exactly what happened. There is a lot of misinformation out there, even by experienced journalists.
Many thanks to “AM” for emailing these stills from the video. This happens around 2:47 in the video. What you are seeing in the images below is the shredded remains of the SUV tire that was slashed during the initial confrontation.
The motorcycle rider recording the video seems to notice and gestures to the bikers behind him. (That’s his gloved hand in the upper right of the second image.)
Click on the images to enlarge in a new window.