An undercover New York police officer was on the scene when a pack of angry motorcycle riders chased down and beat a Range Rover driver in front of his wife and toddler, two law enforcement officials said Friday.
The unidentified cop came forward four days after the harrowing incident — which was captured on camera and became a viral video that has gotten millions of hits — and Internal Affairs is investigating. This information was first reported by the New York Post.
There is no evidence the officer took part in the assault on driver Alexian Lien, but he also did not assist the victim or call 911, one source said.
Another biker, Robert Sims, surrendered to police Friday. He is believed to have yanked the vehicle’s door and also participated in the assault.
Detectives have photos of Sims participating in the assault, a law enforcement official said.
The probe of the NYPD officer is the latest fallout following Sunday’s confrontation, which left one motorcyclist with a crushed spine, another facing charges, and police trying to identify more than a dozen bikers who were involved.
It started when riders gathered for an unauthorized daredevil rally swarmed around Lien’s Range Rover on the West Side Highway in New York, resulting in a fender bender.
As some bikers attacked the SUV, Lien sped off, running down a rider who was standing in front of him. After a 50-block chase, the group cornered Lien, smashed in his window with their helmets and beat him, police said.
The rider who was run over, Edwin “Jay” Mieses, was portrayed Friday as an “innocent victim” who was trying to calm tempers and disperse the crowd after the fender bender.
“His sole intention was to defuse the situation,” said his family’s new high-profile lawyer, Gloria Allred.
At a Manhattan news conference, Allred said Mieses, 32, had his back to the Range Rover and was trying to get fellow bikers to walk away when he was struck “at top speed.”
“Watch that huge vehicle, SUV, blast off, and watch it as it is lifted several feet off the ground as it rolls over Edwin Mieses,” she said of the video of the incident, which has gotten millions of hits on YouTube.
Allred said she was not justifying the subsequent assault on Lien.
“Edwin Mieses and his family deplore what happened to the driver of the SUV,” she said.
“However, let us not lose sight of the fact that Mr. Mieses had done nothing to Mr. Lien,” she added. “We don’t think our client should have been run over and crushed.”
Allred said the family has not decided whether to sue Lien, 33, and is cooperating with the Manhattan District Attorney’s office as it investigates the incident.
Lien’s wife, Rosalyn Ng, released a statement Thursday expressing sympathy for Mieses but saying her husband had no choice but to flee the bikers because it was a “life-threatening situation.”
“Our fear for our lives was confirmed when the incident ended with the ruthless and brutal attack on my husband, me, and, most importantly, our two-year-old child,” Ng said.
Neither Lien nor Mieses have been charged with a crime, and police are still seeking more than a dozen people involved in the incident.
One biker has been arrested — the rider involved in the minor collision that triggered the confrontation.
Christopher Cruz was charged with reckless driving and unlawful imprisonment for slowing down in front of Lien’s Range Rover as the pack roared down West Side Highway.
When Lien clipped Cruz’s back tire, other bikers stopped and some began attacking the SUV with their helmets and slashing its tires, police said.
That’s when Lien sped away, hitting Mieses, who suffered a broken spine, torn aortic valve and punctured lung.
“Doctors have indicated they do not know whether or not he will ever walk again,” Allred said. “It’s a miracle he survived. He faces a very uncertain future.”
The bikers were taking part in a loosely organized unauthorized rally dubbed Hollywood Stuntz, police said. Mieses, an aspiring rapper from Lawrence, Mass., only knew one other rider, said his longtime partner, who defended the two-wheelers.
“They are not gang members. They are not thugs,” Dayana Mejia said, tearfully describing her husband as a devoted father of two.
Allred deflected questions about her new client’s driving record: he was named a habitual traffic offender in June and his right to drive was revoked until 2017; he does not have a motorcycle license, records show.
She said it was “irrelevant” because even though he drove to and participated in the rally, he was off his bike at the time he was run over. She also upbraided the public for “prejudice” against bikers.
She said the family was seeking justice but when asked what form that would take, she replied, “We’ll see.”
Mieses’ father, a Pennsylvania pastor, said he felt “no anger” toward anyone, including Lien.
“The driver of the SUV is going to eventually have to face what he did,” he said.