One of two motorcyclists who police say used their helmets to bash in an SUV window moments before the driver was dragged out and allegedly assaulted by a gang of bikers turned himself in to authorities on Tuesday.
The terrifying incident involving bikers on Manhattan’s west side went viral after a video of the incident surfaced online.
A helmet camera one of the bikers was wearing captured much of the road-rage incident, including the moment when the biker who, police say, has now turned himself in walks up to the SUV and smashes its window with a bike helmet. The man’s name was not released, and police said Tuesday afternoon that he had not yet been charged.
The New York City Police Department said a man driving a Range Rover with his wife and 2-year-old daughter inside Sunday struck a motorcyclist on Manhattan’s West Side Highway, breaking his leg.
The biker who was struck by the SUV, 28-year-old Christopher Cruz, was later arrested and faces several charges, including reckless endangerment, reckless driving and endangering the welfare of a child, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said on Tuesday.
Earlier an NYPD spokeswoman, Lt. Karen Anderson, described the original incident by saying, “It was an accident.”
The SUV driver pulled over after the biker was hit, and the motorcyclists surrounded his vehicle, hitting it and spiking the tires, police said. The driver pulled away, hitting three more bikers in the process, police said.
One of those bikers, Edwin Mieses, 32, is now paralyzed and in a coma, his family told CNN affiliate WBZ.
“All of his ribs are fractured,” Mieses’ mother, Yolanda Santiago, told CNN WBZ, “his lungs are so badly bruised that he’s still on a ventilator.”
Mieses’ wife, Dayana, told CNN affiliate WCBS her husband got off his bike to help Cruz but the SUV driver drove off, hitting her husband on the way.
The hospital where Mieses is being treated did not respond to CNN inquiries about his condition.
The gang, called “Hollywood Stuntz,” according to police, chased the man, and he was forced to stop because of flat tires.
The SUV driver was cornered and beaten, according to police. He was later treated at a local hospital for slashes to his face and released. His wife and child were not injured.
“I don’t condone the violence, there’s no need for it,” Mieses’ sister Margie Mejia told WBZ, but “I’m glad they chased him down and they stopped him.”
Authorities have not identified the people in the SUV.
Police say this same group of bikers descended on New York City and clogged up Times Square last year in what Commissioner Kelly said was a “major stunt event.”
Authorities say they were able to prevent the group from entering Times Square this year. Police arrested 15 bikers in total Sunday, seized 55 bikes and wrote 68 summons for various violations.
They are looking at video footage to try to determine if any other charges will be filed in the road-rage incident.
On whether it was legal for the SUV driver to leave the scene after hitting the first motorcyclist, Kelly said Tuesday that “you have to look at the totality of the circumstances and that’s what we’re doing.”
“The investigation is ongoing,” Kelly said.
At this time, the SUV driver is not facing any charges.
“It’s not going to bring my son’s legs back, because it’s not going to make him walk again,” Mieses’ mother said, “But justice has to be served.”
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