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You, Your Wife, and Child are Surrounded by Strangers: What Do You Do?

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Source: NYPost
Source: NYPost

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:

http://youtu.be/wNOyDMzn2bY

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?

Comment(46)

  1. That was intense. If I had to pick a side. I’m gonna go with the bikers. Although they did do the most, that was someone’s life. Versus a dented range. I dont think things would have got hostile after he clipped the biker had he just stepped out, apologized, and made sure no one was injured. But after you run over a human… I don’t know. Can’t have too much sympathy for him after that. Use your head.

    1. Yeah, someone's life. Think about it, if you were in Lien's situation wouldn't you be scared for your wife and kid's life (not to mention your own)? If he was trying to hurt someone he could have hurt so many more people.

      The bike cut a few inches in front of him and then tried to force him to stop while several other bikers surrounded him. He was probably looking around trying not to hit anyone when the biker stopped in front of him. It was an accident and his wife was on the phone with 911.

      I can't even imagine the fear he and his family must have felt.

  2. I think the bikers were totally wrong. All that taking over the highway, stopping cars, etc is uncalled for. They don't own the damn roads. Then you are stopping in front of the guy to stop traffic…come on now! Imagine if you were surrounded by a big group of people on bikes stopping your car. I would have tried to get the hell out of there, too.
    I don't think that he intended to hurt anyone. He was probably scared to death. It's unfortunate that someone got hurt but maybe they will think about that next time they pull a stunt like that.
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  3. Last night, this was discussed on a show (with the lady that gives Nancy Grace a run for her money because she feels talking loud means you’re passionate about things…Ugh!) 1) Excuse me, biker guy, why the hell are you slowing down in front of a big @ss truck? Oh, you feel you’re special because you’re on a bike and the RR driver has to take that in consideration. Oh, okay. 2) How many biker were surrounding this man and his family? And something tells me that the bikers weren’t standing there silently. It looked scary from the outside view. I can only imagine what that looked like sitting inside the truck looking out. 3) Did chasing the RR down, attacking with helmets, and beating the driver help dissolve the issue? No, so now you go straight to jail.

  4. Yeah let’s get out of the car and talk reason w a bunch of want-to-be biker gang w false egos while your wife and 2 ur old sit in your car. They all look like they’re ready to reason. Never mind the fact that if you’re wrong you and your family’s life could be in jeapordy. Fxxking moron! You know if you were in the same position you’d do the same thing.

  5. Shoo, I would’ve panicked too. *sucksteeth*

    Sometimes they be doing the MOST on the road, tryin to showboat their riding skillz and tryin to take over the road and whatnot. I used to be on the back of the bike and I know how it goes down at times.

    That biker slowed down in front of the rover on purpose… WHY??!! there was no reason to except to show his clique that he could but he didn’t anticipate he would get touched.

    Such a Mess!!! *smh*

  6. OMG. I would be scared to pieces! the bikers were performing an unauthorized stunt to begin with and then decided to stop purposely in front of the RR? Why? The RR is then surrounded by a bunch of helmet wearing bikers and is not supposed to be worried? Your wife and child are in the car potentially in danger and you're supposed to just sit there and wait for the bikers to either let you keep on with your day or roll down your window and hold a friendly conversation with them on the freeway? Get real?I'd get the h- out of there too! Those bikers set themselves up for disappointment! Why did they think this was a good idea? I'm with the driver of the RR. Protect your family.
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  7. Here is the story as I am hearing it. This bit of info, if true, kind of makes parts of the video make more sense and can change the perception of who was really at fault.

    As I'm hearing (because if you live in urban NY its not hard to know someone who knows one of those riders) the entire incident actually began BEFORE the video recording even begins. Supposedly the SUV driver hit one of the bikes and drove off. No one was injured at the point but the bike was damage and the riders were angry that he basically did a hit and run. They pursue him and THAT is where the video kicks in. They single out his vehicle, swerve in front of him and attempt to stop him. That is when HIT #2 takes place (shown in video) where he strikes the bike tire. At this point he has hit their bikes TWICE. Once with someone on it.

    Now if this is all true then it makes sense why they would have been so angry on the highway. You damage one of our bikes and don't even have the decency to stop and say anything. Then hit us AGAIN while we are trying to stop you? Him going for STRIKE #3 by running over them was just a death sentence for him.

    1. Well, I'll go with what's in the police report. There's a reason a biker was arrested and the RR driver is at home with his family.

      Hit and run but not one of the motorcyclists called the police to report it. Instead, let cut him off, brake check, surround his family in the middle of the highway……….because we're just trying get RR driver information. O_o Okay.

      1. Did the SUV driver or his wife call the police to report being menaced and harassed before he decided to drive over human beings?

        1. On GMA this morning they said about 20 calls came in from different drivers including the driver of the RR beforehand, complaining about the cyclists and how bad they were driving.

      2. You can go with that. As I said "IF TRUE". I can prove it. But I can see that he did hit one of them AND that no othr cars were even close to them. Why did everyone else on the highway have the foresight to back away while he wanted to be the tough guy and try to ride inbetween or close up on them? Slow down, call the police about the riding and maybe take a detour if it persists. But trying to drive through that? What did he think was going to happen? That he could scare them off? Stupid decision making. Gotta know when to play your hand and when to fold it

    2. I've just been waiting to hear why that biker slowed down in front of an SUV. That's not typical behavior and it's risky as hell. People act like lawless violent biker gangs are A Thing. Not on those cream puff bikes. I figured something happened before any of the videos started.

      Nobody's very right, but the SUV driver is hella wrong.

    3. We will never know what actually happened, because people will always tell stories to protect their own ass. IF he actually did hit them, as ADULTS you have to know when to let things go! He had his wife and 2-year-old daughter in the car, and the fact that the bikers kept pursuing him is crazy. If any of them are parents, they would have probably reacted the same way. It's the protective instinct, you will do whatever it takes to protect what is yours. I am sad that both parties had injuries, but 2 wrongs don't make a right. The 2nd time he hit the biker that was because the guy stopped right in front of him, and that is clear in the video. The 3rd time he ran over the bike with someone in it was because he was trying to get away from the SWARM of bikers that surrounded his car that contained his wife and daughter. As a MAN, HUSBAND and FATHER, I would have sped away from that madness.

      1. Subtract the part that I posted here, because just as you said its not something that can really be proven, I still think him hitting the rider in front of him was intentional. You acn look at the white lines on the road as the incident happens and clearly see that they weren't driving that fast. Even though it was close there is no reason he couldn't have stopped without hitting the bike. No forward thinking on his part. Notice how there are NO other cars even close. He should have just accepted that they had jammed up the road, fell back, called the cops about the riding and maybe took a detour. There is no WIN in that situation for him past doing those things.

    4. if that was the case larnelw someone should have memorized his licence plate number, stopped and called the cops and reported it as a hit and run. The police should have been the ones to try to stop the guy, not the bikers. Common sense should've told them its a good chance this person could run me over if i stop in front of their SUV. Last time I checked Motorcycles were not able to bring an SUV to a complete halt. People gotta stop and think about stuff before they just run off emotions and adrenaline and do stuff.

      Men and their testosterone.

  8. Evidently these bikers do these types of stunts all the time to unsuspecting drivers. They record them and put them on YouTube. No one knows what happened at the very beginning and because of that, this incident probably will have no clear "winner" or who is right. I'm sure it was a bit intimidating to drive around all those cyclists. To me it looks like the cyclists were provoking the driver. If the driver did something beforehand to the cyclists, they should have waved him down or at the very least recorded the license plate and report him and just let him go. Don't take it into your own hands. It doesn't make it right that a cyclist purposely slowed down just so the driver could hit him. How convenient is it that it's on tape?! That's clear that the cyclist did THAT on PURPOSE. People do that all the time in cars, trying to make you hit them so you'll be in the wrong. "But officer, HE hit ME!!" Two wrongs don't make a right!! Whatever happened beforehand was obviously not something that was such a big deal but they all turned it into that. If I were the driver, I would have ran over them too. The cyclists were clearly getting aggressive by blocking him in and I'm not gonna sit there and let them continue to provoke and attack me.

    It's a shame that someone got hurt in the process. When it comes to road rage there is no reasoning. People are always doing stuff they aren't supposed to on the road and the driver was trying to protect himself and his family. What was the point in slashing the tires? Now someone is paralyzed because of people being stupid on the road. The cyclists didn't expect that they wouldn't be in control. Just common sense here speaking.

  9. This story and the video made me angry. If this were me, I'd have been looking for an exit strategy. Anonymity and numbers are two things that never work in your favor unless you're amongst them. I'd have thought someone had a gun or knife. Clearly I'd have been accurate about the latter.

    The cyclist who slowed in front of the SUV was reckless. That's just dangerous and a bad idea, regardless of what happened before the video started rolling.

    Hate that someone may be paralyzed as a result, but I can't help but think the recklessness of "the team" put him in that situation.
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  10. The bikers know who they can pick on, white folks in a Range Rover. If that was my large black ass driving with one or two of my boys things would have went differently. They would act differently if they knew somebody would come up from under that seat with something. My wife and kids in the car, I would have been running over more than a couple of them. They could had gotten the license plates and called the cops.

  11. NY is off the freakin chain. Had this happen in Boston or something then maybe possibly yeah u could risk chillin and not makin a move. In NY Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, nah u don't wanna take on a bunch of bikers. At least that biker is alive. That guy not doing anything probably would've cost either him and/or his family their lives. Especially with them rollin that deep. Easily that was over 25 bikes. Yeah they were definitely up to no good. Collectively they could've done serious damage to his SUV and family. They seem to be young, dumb and playin a very dangerous game they thought would be fun. I doubt the guy intentionally ran over that biker. He was simply tryin to get the hell out of dodge which was a very smart move on his part. I would've done the same thing. If ur in the way when my foot hits the gas sorry for ya. A few crazy azz punks who wanna be hard and play around spoiled that ride. Many of them kept moving like they had no idea that the dumb-azz that stopped in front of the truck was even going to do whatever he did. They were way up ahead then realized the rest of the crew were far behind and stopped and looked like they were wondering what the hell was going on.

    1. This is IF the story is as easy and straight forward as the media is spinning it. I however doubt it is. I thnk a lot more transpired which made that biker single out that particular driver. Because if you watch the video there is no other car or trucks even close to them.

  12. I don't feel for the biker that got ran over at all. If u jump in front of a car or any moving vehicle be prepared to suffer potential consequences. Like when dumb azz kids used to jump train tracks and play on them. A few kids died playing that dangerous and stupid game. U suffer the consequences for stupid actions. What did they think that man was going to do?
    They could have planned to rob him or torment him or shoot him or anything. They were a threat to not just him, but his family……C'mon Son…not a good look. Maybe if it was just him, it would've been a different outcome. But I can't see any man in their right mind who has wife and child in tow not thinking about their safety first and being the man and leader of the family doing whatever he has to do to protect his wife and child. Common sense and human nature.

  13. If I were his wife in that car with the guy I would've made sure all the doors were locked and told him "babe try not to run over any of these fools if u can help it, but u floor this damn car and get us the hell outta dodge."
    The bikers could've easily busted out dudes windows and snatched him and/or his wife and kid out the car. At the end they opened his truck door and he had to peel off again. He should've got off at the nearest exit and went to a public place and called the cops.

  14. Another thing I am wondering. If the driver of the SUV really does get away free legally then does it set a new precedent? Does it become a plausible excuse for future drivers to hit or drive over others and say, "I clipped their car by accident and I saw 2 guys running towards my car yelling. I was nervous and felt threatened so I just pulled off and accidentally hit one"?

    1. The Bikers and the driver of the vehicle both used poor judgement in how they handled that whole situation. Could have spared people from getting hurt.
      I know a few guys who are bikers. They've told me that drivers accidentally clip bikes sometimes because they misjudge distance when changing lanes or they do it on purpose to force bikeriders to the slow lane or to get around the biker. Riding a motorcycle, on the highway especially, is dangerous no matter how you look at it.

    2. Just my opinion but I see a big difference between 50 people surrounding you and your family, slashing your tires and breaking your car window, and only two people running and yelling at your car.

      1. You know there is actually no video proof that they were attacking his car on the highway. I've brought the video up in full HD full screen and you can never see even one person hit his car. The claims that there were can be just as exaggerated as some of the bikers claims the the SUV started it.

        1. I've seen the entire video numerous times. The "details" everyone claims to know as fact cannot be seen at any minute marker in the video

  15. Naw, son. You wanna play out your little Sons of Anarchy fantasy? Fine. Threaten me and mine, and I'm going to take out some of you with the SUV, and the rest of you can catch bullets from the nasty object in my glove box. My priority is to get my family out of harm's way. We'll turn this schit into GTA: Real Life.

  16. I'm going to chime in here because this story hits close to home and absolutely made my blood boil! These guys are a bunch of lawless thugs – plain and simple, no doubt about it! How do I know? Because I live in NYC, in a neighborhood where this particular group meets regularly and causes all kinds of chaos. Many of these bikes are not licensed and these guys are not a bunch of fun-loving, good-time guys. They purposely cause traffic jams and menace drivers because they think everyone should make way for them while they show-off and act like idiots. Here's the facts as is being reported in local media –

    *They staged this type of "gathering" last year and caused all kinds of problems – as a result the NYPD claims to have been "monitoring" the situation (yeah…right! How come none of them were positioned along the route to prevent this type of thing from happening);

    *There were over 200 (not 20…200!) calls made by various drivers on the road to report that this group was intentionally holding-up traffic, driving erratically and performing stunts;

    *The driver of the SUV was targeted because he was trying to get in front of them since they were holding-up traffic — that is why the first biker who was hurt INTENTIONALLY cut in front of the driver and STOPPED – causing the initial accident.

    *The driver of the SUV DID stop and pull over to the side of the road after he hit the first guy who stopped in front of him (btw – that guy has been charged with intentionally causing an accident) – a bunch of them then surrounded the suv and began to beat on the SUV with their helmets – one of them punched the window on the side where the 2-year old was sitting – and they slashed his tires. The SUV driver then fled, (because he was being attacked and obviously fearing for his and his family's life) and that is when he hit and ran over the second biker, who is now in a coma.

    *A group of bikers then pursued the SUV as it tried to flee and when he exited onto a street they stopped, surrounded the vehicle, pulled the driver out, beat him and slashed him with knives.

    I'm really sorry, but knowing this group as I do, I have a hard time feeling any sympathy for the biker who was badly hurt and I only feel bad for the driver of the SUV and his family for having gone through this. He hasn't been charged because the video evidence (shot by one of these bikers and posted online, mind you – because they were apparantly proud of this little incident) shows that the driver had reason to fear for his safety. What was he supposed to do – stay and allow them to terrorize his 2-year old and probably much worse?

  17. I will admit a part of me wonders if the driver did do something to provoke the bikers especially for all of them to pursue as hard we saw them pursue. But there's nothing to suggest otherwise but the video. And was CLEAR in the video to me was the bikers antagonizing the driver. They endangered his life and his family's with the bike tricks, surrounded him in threatening way and even approached his car. From what I saw this guy had the right to defend himself and his family by whatever means. Bikes are badass but SUVs are bigger.

    Ultimately what is unforgivable is that they endangered a child that nothing to do with anything.

    1. When was the child and wife in danger. The guy was clearly beat down but not the wife n kid. Doesn’t sound like lawless thugs.

      When does doin illegal and/or u sanctioned bike tricks mean u can clip one bcuz ur mad? WITH ur wife n kid in the car?

      When, if a member of ur family was clipped by a hit n run driver, would u not tryta pursue the driver so they answer to the cops?

      What if the paralyzed dude just do happened to be a pedestrian it associated with the bikers? Would he then be worthy of sympathy?

      I’ve been associated with an MC (motorcycle club) and some car drivers have this sense of superiority with a special kind of anger towards bikers. If he ultimately wanted to protect his family he would’ve stayed uninvolved like every other driver not affected by that lawless pack of wannabe SoA bikers. From what I understand this is an annual event. New York might not like it but this type of event happens all over the world multiple times a year. Who are u to say that bikes don’t belong on the road? Bikes are sold. Drivers get licenses. Insurance is sold. So it must be ok. (No I’m not saying they were all legal drivers but thass beside the point)

  18. Never commented on this site before but I've read a lot of the posts. I live in East Harlem and have seen this particular club pull stupid stunts like this before when driving my parents' car. When there's a lot of them, they'll block traffic, do stunts, weave and cut unnecessarily at high speeds, and just generally screw up the flow. It might be only a few that actually ride with intention of messing with people, but the sheer numbers prevent you from going around them. So you end up waiting and traffic builds.

    Even though we don't really know who started it, these guys don't have a good track record. And even if the SUV clipped the guy's bike, smashing up his range isn't the appropriate response. People can say the SUV driver should not have panicked but imagine being in that situation.Family in the car, windows smashed, someone pulling on the door handle?They obviously weren't there to talk. The way I see it the bikers got their own member injured by being careless with their actions.

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