If you’re unaware, an interesting story has been developing recently involving several hundred bikers and one man and his family. As is the case with most stories, there’s one side, the other side, and the truth. Like always, the truth is hard to discover between the blame from both sides. The motorcyclists allege a reckless driver ran over them and their innocent friend, causing possibly life-changing injuries (paralysis). The driver alleges the motorcyclists surrounded his car and began threatening him and his family – a wife and 2-year old child – causing him to flee in fear.
A brief summary of the story:
A clash between a pack of motorcyclists and a Range Rover on a Manhattan highway — which triggered a harrowing chase caught on a viral video — has left one biker facing charges and a second in critical condition.
Edwin “Jay” Mieses, 32, could be paralyzed after being run over during the chaos, a relative said.
“He was an innocent bystander,” Mieses’ aunt, Delilah Domenech, told NBC News on Tuesday, saying her nephew was checking on another motorcyclist when he was struck by the panicked motorist.
A third biker involved in the incident, who was sought by the NYPD after being caught on camera punching the window of the Range Rover, turned himself in on Tuesday, sources told NBC New York.
The violent scene unfolded Sunday afternoon when up to 30 motorcyclists taking part in an unauthorized daredevil rally called Hollywood Stuntz took to the West Side Highway.
Video taken by a helmet camera shows the pack zooming around the the Range Rover of Alexian Lien, 33, who was out for a drive with his wife and 2-year-old daughter, police said.
One biker, identified by police as Christopher Cruz, 23, of New Jersey, slowed down right in front of the SUV and gestured at Lien, who clipped the motorcycle, the video shows.
The group of riders then surrounded Lien’s vehicle.
“They take their helmets and start to dent his car, and apparently his tires are slashed there with a knife,” Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said.
Mieses, who lives in Lawrence, Mass., can be seen on the video getting off his green bike to check on Cruz, his aunt said. He was standing near the SUV when Lien suddenly took off and ran over him, she said.
Police said Mieses suffered two broken legs, but family members said his injuries were far more severe and include a torn aorta, broken ribs and spinal damage that will probably leave him paralyzed.
“He damaged my son’s life forever,” his mother, Yolando Santiago, told NBC affiliate WHDH. “He is never going to walk again.”
Read the full story at [NBCNEWS.com]
A partial video of the incident also emerged:
When I first heard the story, I was only aware of the driver running over the biker, and I assumed that it was a simple case of a hit and run. Naturally, I thought the driver should be prosecuted and I wondered why officers didn’t file charges when he turned himself in at the hospital. Later, the video emerged and my opinion changed.
For one, the video mainly shows the bikers acting aggressively towards the driver. Further, he is clearly surrounded by 30 – 100 masked, or at least helmet wearing, strangers. I can’t condone his actions (given the consequences) but given that he had his wife and child in the car, I also don’t blame him for attempting to flee the scene before him or his family was placed in more danger. As always, I’m sorry for violence that strikes any family; however, after watching the video, I find it increasingly difficult to find more sympathy for the bikers or fault with the driver. But, I’m just one man.
What are your thoughts? Do you think the bikers were wrong or the driver? Do you blame the driver for how he reacted? How would you have handled this situation?