NYPD Internal Affairs Cop Reportedly Among Bikers Involved in SUV Attack
(NEW YORK) — Another New York City Police Department officer has reportedly come forward and admitted that he was riding with a group of bikers who allegedly assaulted the driver of an SUV in an extreme case of road rage.
This latest officer is a five-year veteran of the police force who began working in the Internal Affairs Bureau’s command center about a month ago, according to DNAinfo, a New York City online news website.
The Internal Affairs Bureau is tasked with investigating wrongdoing of NYPD officers and is currently probing those who were allegedly involved in the SUV attack, DNAinfo reported.
The NYPD did not immediately respond to a call from ABC News for comment. The officer has not been charged and is reportedly still on full duty at the Internal Affairs Bureau.
On Wednesday, undercover narcotics officer Wojciech Braszczok, 32, was charged with gang assault, assault and criminal mischief in connection with the attack on SUV driver Alexian Lien on Sept. 29.
The officer was the latest in a string of arrests connected to the incident. Five other motorcyclists have been charged, and police said they are continuing to search for suspects.
Braszczok’s attorney John Arlia called the gang assault charge an “absolute overcharge” and said there’s no evidence the detective knew the other bikers. The riders are a loosely knit group that arranges rides via the Internet, Arlia said.
Braszczok initially told his superiors days after the incident that he saw the attack but did not stop it for fear of blowing his cover, police said. But video captured at the scene revealed that he actually participated by smashing the back window of Lien’s Range Rover, law enforcement sources said.
Braszczok’s attorney said his client is accused of breaking “what was already broken.” There was a “gaping softball [-sized] hole” in the window that the detective is accused of breaking, Arlia said during the court appearance.
While Braszczok is not accused of directly assaulting Lien, prosecutors said he terrorized the driver’s family. He was captured on video kicking the passenger-side rear door multiple times where, prosecutors pointed out, Lien’s 2-year-old daughter was in the back seat.
The melee began around 2 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 29, when Lien, who was driving on the highway with his wife and 2-year-old daughter on an outing to celebrate the couple’s wedding anniversary, tapped the back of a motorcycle that cut in front of him and slowed down, police said. The rest of the bikers then closed in on him, prompting Lien to speed off, hitting three bikers as he accelerated away from the group, according to the NYPD.
The group chased Lien and then pulled him from his car and beat him, cops said.
Police released photos of additional suspects to the public on Tuesday.
Much of the chase was caught on a helmet camera video that was then uploaded to the Internet. Police said they have used the video and images taken at the scene to identify suspects. Detectives have also obtained additional footage and photographs from others that have helped them piece together what went on, sources said.
A grand jury is already hearing evidence in the assault cases that have been filed, and Lien is expected to make a video statement for prosecutors for the grand jury, authorities said.
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