(NEW YORK) — New York City police believe they have identified the prime suspect who smashed the window of an SUV and attacked the driver in the streets of Manhattan, and are working to bring him into custody, according to law enforcement sources.
Police have not named the man or said when he might be apprehended for a confrontation during which the “terrified” SUV driver’s wife called 911 four times in nine minutes.
The incident started Sunday afternoon as Alexian Lien and Rosalyn Ng planned to celebrate their wedding anniversary with their 2-year-old daughter, Ng said in a statement Thursday released through her attorneys. Instead, she said, they were swarmed by a motorcycle rally on Manhattan’s West Side Highway.
A biker who was along for the ride said Lien was driving erratically on the highway moments before the initial confrontation occurred.
“He was all over the place when he got on the highway,” Sean Thomas told ABC News Thursday. “He started from this lane to that lane to this lane, speeding up and this was the reason he was surrounded.”
Ng and her husband have not responded directly to accusations that his driving prompted the confrontation. Police have not commented on that aspect of their investigation.
Dozens of bikers rode alongside Lien’s Range Rover until a biker slowed down and the vehicles bumped, police said. Lien then sped off, accelerating his Range Rover through the crowd of motorcyclists, hitting at least one biker and breaking his legs.
Lien took off because he felt threatened by the group, according to his wife.
The bikers then chased the Ranger Rover through the streets of Manhattan. The couple’s fear was evident in Ng’s 911 call from inside the Range Rover, according to NYPD Deputy Commissioner John McCarthy, who said that the tenor and number of her calls proved how “terrified” they were in the face of the group of bikers.
Ng placed four calls from inside the Range Rover in a span of nine minutes, ending as ambulances and police finally arrived at the site where Lien was assaulted.
Bystanders intervened and helped to stop the assault when the bikers, angry over the confrontation, attacked her husband, Ng said in her statement. Six minutes of the confrontation were captured on video taken by a motorcyclist’s helmet camera and uploaded to the Internet.
“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 2-year-old child,” Ng said in the statement.
Christopher Cruz, 28, of Passaic, N.J., is the only biker charged so far in connection with the investigation. Cruz was the motorcyclist who slowed down, resulting in the SUV’s bumping him, according to police.
Cruz was charged with reckless driving and false imprisonment.
It’s unclear whether he has entered a plea.
Ng said her family’s sympathies went out to the injured rider, 32-year-old Edwin Mieses Jr., who broke both legs and suffered spinal injuries. Mieses’ wife said the injuries he sustained might leave him paralyzed.
No additional arrests have been made in the case. One motorcyclist seen on the video banging on the SUV’s window turned himself into police earlier in the week and was questioned and released, police said.
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