Motorcyclist Arraigned on Assault Charges in NYC Biker-SUV Brawl

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

NEW YORK (AP) - A motorcyclist accused of triggering a bloody confrontation between bikers and an SUV driver in New York City has been arraigned on gang assault charges. But his lawyer says the motorcyclist's role has been unfairly overstated.

Reginald Chance is being held on $75,000 cash bail after his arraignment Sunday.

Police say the bikers dragged the man from his vehicle after he ran over one of them while fleeing an earlier confrontation.

Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Samantha Turino says Chance didn't participate in the beating but set it in motion by breaking the motorist's window.

Defense attorney Gregory Watts acknowledges Chance broke the window but says he then left the scene. He says it's wrong to charge Chance with participating in a gang assault and he will "hotly contest" those charges.

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NEW YORK (AP) - The New York Police Department has arrested another man in connection with the videotaped beating of a New York City SUV driver by a gang of bikers.

The NYPD says Reginald Chance was charged with first-degree gang assault, first-degree assault and criminal mischief.

The 37-year-old Chance was in custody Saturday and unable to comment. There is no phone number listed for Chance at the address provided by police.

Police have said the bikers stopped the SUV on a highway, attacked the vehicle and pulled the driver from the car after he plowed over a motorcyclist from Massachusetts while trying to escape.

Police have arrested four people in connection with the attack, though the case against one of those motorcyclists was subsequently dismissed when prosecutors said they needed more time to investigate.
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NEW YORK (AP) - A motorcyclist has been arraigned on assault and other charges in connection with the beating of a New York City man by a gang of angry bikers.

Robert Sims was arraigned Saturday in Manhattan on charges of first-degree gang assault, first-degree assault and third-degree criminal possession of a weapon.

Bail was set at $100,000. An attorney for the 35-year-old Sims did not immediately return a call for comment. There was no listed telephone number for Sims at the address where police said he lived.

A criminal complaint says Sims identified himself to police as one of the bikers depicted in a photograph of the incident wearing a grey backpack and motorcycle helmet emblazoned with the number 78.

Sims was convicted in 1998 of third-degree criminal possession of a weapon.

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NEW YORK (AP) - Authorities are investigating whether an undercover police officer present at a motorcycle rally witnessed a violent confrontation between an SUV driver and a swarm of bikers and didn't immediately report it, a law enforcement official said Saturday.

The officer came forward several days after the Sept. 29 rally to say he was present, according to the official, who was not authorized to speak publicly about the investigation and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity. The officer has an attorney, and internal affairs detectives are trying to determine whether he witnessed the assault on the SUV driver, the official said.

New York Police Department spokesman John McCarthy said a detective had been stripped of his gun and badge pending the outcome of an internal affairs investigation.

McCarthy said internal affairs was investigating the case and looking into whether any off-duty officers may have been present.

Undercover officers are required to immediately report being a witness to a crime. Uniformed officers are required to take police action if they see a crime occurring, but the rules are murkier for undercover officers who face blowing their cover, confusing civilians who don't realize the undercover is really a cop and ruining yearslong investigations.

For example, Gescard Isnora, an undercover officer involved in the fatal police shooting of an unarmed man after his bachelor party in 2006, stepped out of his role and fired a shot as officers opened fire on Sean Bell and his friends. Isnora was fired and lost his pension after a departmental trial ruling that he should not have shot his weapon while undercover.

Last weekend, dozens of bikers stopped the Range Rover SUV on a highway, attacked the vehicle, then chased the driver and pulled him from the car after he plowed over a motorcyclist while trying to escape, police said. The driver, Alexian Lien, needed stiches after being pummeled by the bikers.

The motorcyclist who was crushed by the SUV, Edwin Mieses Jr., of Lawrence, Mass., suffered a broken spine and two broken legs and may never walk again, his family said.

Some of the encounter was captured on a camera mounted on the helmet of one of the bikers and was posted online. Investigators have been interviewing dozens of bikers and witnesses, but it still remains unclear how many people attacked Lien. On Saturday, police said two other motorcyclists were taken into custody and released a photograph of another man they say they want to question in connection with the attack.

Robert Sims, 35, of Brooklyn, was arrested on charges of gang assault and weapons possession. Police said he took part in the attack on Lien. There was no listed telephone number for Sims at the address where police said he lived.


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