DA: Motorcyclist had key role in NYC SUV brawl
NEW YORK — A motorcyclist accused of smashing a window and catalyzing a bloody encounter between a group of bikers and an SUV driver was arraigned on Sunday on gang assault and other major charges, while his lawyer said the motorcyclist's role in the headline-grabbing case was unfairly overplayed.
The fourth person arrested in the case, Reginald Chance, is being held on $75,000 cash bail. Prosecutors said he played a key role in the SUV driver's beating, which occurred after the driver ran over a biker in what the motorist's family said was fear for his life.
While Chance did not participate in the beating, he shattered the SUV's driver's-side window and “set into motion a chain of events that resulted in the driver being dragged out of his vehicle and beaten” by others, Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Samantha Turino said.
Chance's lawyer, Gregory Watts, acknowledged his client broke the window in a burst of anger after the SUV's door knocked him earlier in the encounter that went from a Manhattan highway to a neighborhood street. Video shows Chance then got on his motorcycle and left, and he did not hit SUV driver Alexian Lien, 33, or encourage anyone else to do so, Watts said.
“This is not a man riding around, assaulting people with a quote-unquote gang,” Watts said. “We will hotly contest those allegations.”
Meanwhile, a bystander hailed as a good Samaritan in the episode gave a public account Sunday of stopping the attack.
Lien was on the ground when bystander Sergio Consuegra stepped in between him and the bikers, Consuegra recalled at a news conference with officials who called him a hero.
He spread his arms to signal he was shielding the driver and told the bikers: “That's it, guys. Let it go. That's it. Let it go,” he said.
The bikers backed off, and Consuegra called the police.
He said he believed he had done the right thing.
“I do not call myself a hero,” he said, “because I wish I could have done more.”