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Nation & World

3 bikers of 7 are indicted in road rage attack on SUV driver

(MCT) - Three bikers have been indicted in the highly publicized Manhattan road rage attack on an SUV driver, and two others have asked to testify before the grand jury investigating the incident.

Two defendants, Craig Wright and Reginald Chance, appeared in court Friday and were told that a certificate of grand jury action had been filed in the matter, indicating that the grand jury had voted to indict in the case, according to the Manhattan district attorney's office.

On Thursday, motorcyclist Robert Sims was told he had been indicted by the grand jury investigating the Sept. 29 confrontation between the driver of the SUV and a group of bikers.

The charges in the three cases were not made public. All three men are scheduled to reappear in court on Oct. 30, when the indictments are expected to be unsealed.

The grand jury is continuing its work and could return more indictments. In all, seven motorcyclists have been charged and arraigned in the confrontation that left one biker seriously injured and the SUV driver dealing with injuries from the assault.

Two of the defendants, Clint Caldwell and New York Police Detective Wojciech Braszczok, also appeared in court Friday. Their cases were adjourned until Feb. 5 to allow them time to testify before the grand jury. Braszczok, an undercover police officer who was riding with the motorcyclists while off duty, is charged with gang assault and assault. He is free on bail.

On Sept. 29, officials said, Alexian Lien, his wife and their 2-year-old child were on a Sunday drive up the West Side Highway when their black Range Rover was surrounded by a group of motorcyclists.

One of the bikers, Christopher Cruz, slowed down and made contact with the vehicle, which appears to stop in a video shot by one of the motorcyclists using a helmet cam. That video has gone viral.

Lien is then seen hitting at least one motorcyclist, Edwin Mieses, and driving up the highway chased by a group of bikers. Mieses remains hospitalized with serious back and leg injuries.

Cruz was originally charged with misdemeanors including reckless driving in the case. The grand jury could increase those charges or decide not to indict on any felonies.

With the bikers in pursuit, officials said, Lien drove dozens of blocks and ended up on 178th Street in Washington Heights, where he was surrounded by motorcyclists. In the helmet cam video, several bikers are seen attacking the vehicle. In another video, some of the bikers are seen attacking the SUV and Lien, who was treated for injuries at a hospital.

Six of the motorcyclists have been charged in connection with the 178th Street attack on Lien. All are accused of gang assault, but the grand jury could change those charges.

The grand jury examination of the incident is typical in this type of case. Defendants are charged and arraigned and the grand jury later refines the counts.

(c)2013 Los Angeles Times
Distributed by MCT Information Services

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