As the nation turns its attention to the biker gang attacks in Waco, another violent biker gang episode from 2013, this one in New York, is making headlines again as the trial of two of its assailants, former undercover NYPD police officer Wojciech Braszczok and Robert Sims, gets underway in Manhattan.
The testimony of one of the victims, Rosalyn Ng, was backed up in court by a new video obtained by the Daily News showing the brutality of the attack that left her husband hospitalized for months. The video depicts the men (one of whom it was later revealed infiltrated Occupy Wall Street on behalf of the NYPD) dragging Alexian Lien out of his SUV in broad daylight in Washington Heights. They proceed to severely beat him as his wife, Rosalyn Ng, cries for help. The couple had an infant child in the back seat, a fact Ng claims she yelled out repeatedly as the men continued to stomp and kick Lien. The footage was taken from one of the bikers’ GoPro helmets.
Braszczok’s lawyer alleges his client went along with the attack because he didn’t want to break what he called “deep cover.” The former NYPD officer is also accused of being responsible for breaking the couple’s windshield, a charge he denies. If convicted, both men face up to 25 years in prison.
Lien recently testified about the incident as well. As CBS News reported:
In court, the man whose beating was later seen by millions of online viewers broke down and told a New York judge in emotional testimony that he was in “complete fear” as the bikers closed in.
Two of the eleven bikers charged in the attack are now on trial. With his face covered by a t-shirt, Wojciech Braszczok entered a Manhattan courtroom. The undercover cop, along with co-defedent Robert Sims, face charges that include assault for participating in the now-infamous road rage incident in which thirty-five year old Alexian Lien was pulled from his vehicle and beaten in front of his wife and young daughter.
In describing the September 2013 incident, Lien said, “I felt complete fear for my life, my wife and my daughter.”
As for Braszczok’s gig spying on Occupy Wall Street, Gothamist detailed how the 2013 motorcycle incident revealed the disturbing subplot:
“It’s definitely creepy and unsettling to think of this guy monitoring conversations and actions and tweets that were all part of this nonviolent social movement,” Molly Knefel says. “Once you know you’re being surveilled, it changes the way you think and the way you act.”
Most Occupy Wall Street participants assumed that undercover police had infiltrated their ranks, but many said yesterday that they were taken aback at how far the 32-year-old detective had taken his work. “I mean, he came to my birthday at the Blarney Stone,” said one occupier who asked to be identified by his Twitter handle, @SeaNick_. “He was there ’til like 4:30 in the morning with us. I never thought anything of it.”
In addition to Occupy Wall Street, Braszczok also spied on Hurricane Sandy relief work for the NYPD, according to the Gothamist.
Video available HERE