A New Jersey motorcyclist, who was involved in a wild chase by a pack of bikers after an SUV carrying a family, has been arrested in New York, officials said on Tuesday, after the confrontation was caught on video and went viral.
The four-mile chase on Manhattan’s West Side has become a sensation since the incident on Sunday afternoon. After a motorcyclist appears to have been hit by the SUV, the vehicle takes off and the bikers give chase. When the black SUV stops on a street in upper Manhattan, a motorcyclist is seen smashing out the window with his helmet. The driver was pulled from the car and beaten, police said.
Christopher Cruz, 28, of Passaic, N.J., was arrested and charged on Tuesday with reckless endangerment, menacing and reckless driving, New York Police Department spokeswoman Annette Markowski told the Los Angeles Times. The charges are misdemeanors, she said.
Cruz sustained injuries to his lower back, but contrary to initial reports, did not have any limbs broken, she said.
According to police, the incident began on Sunday afternoon when Alexian Lien, 33, of lower Manhattan, his wife and their 2-year-old daughter were out on a Sunday drive in their black Range Rover. The vehicle is seen in the center lane on the video.
A group of about 30 motorcyclists swarm around the SUV. One of the bikers slows and seems to be struck by the SUV. The vehicle stays put, but moments later, it takes off through the crowd and the bikers give chase. The SUV gets stuck at a red light on a side street in upper Manhattan and two motorcyclists attack the vehicle, pulling the driver out and beating him, according to police.
Police say the motorcyclists were part of a planned, but unauthorized, event in which hundreds of riders gathered outside of Manhattan and headed for Times Square. Under the name “Hollywood Stuntz,” the loosely organized ride succeeded in snarling Midtown traffic last year, according to police.
This year, police set up checkpoints to inspect the vehicles. At least 15 people were arrested, mostly on vehicular charges, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly told reporters at a news conference, and 55 motorcycles were confiscated.
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