New York City (AFP) – A New York police detective has been charged over an astonishing road rage chase that ended with the driver of a luxury car being beaten in broad daylight, officials said Wednesday.
Footage of the incident, widely available online, has shocked New Yorkers accustomed to a huge decline in crime rates that has made the city safer than ever.
The off-duty detective, who was among the motorcycle riders, was arrested on Tuesday and charged with riot and criminal mischief.
Police on Wednesday named him as 32-year-old Wojciech Braszczok, who originally claimed to have peeled away before the driver of the SUV was assaulted.
He is the sixth motorcyclist charged in connection with the September 29 incident.
So far the driver of the Ranger Rover, Alexian Lien, 33, has faced no charges over the injury of motorcyclist Edwin Mieses, 32, whose legs were broken.
Online videos show a crowd of motorcyclists crawling along a highway in Manhattan, hemming in Lien’s black Range Rover.
The car then suddenly breaks free, smashing one of the motorcyclists to race off into the distance, sparking a furious bike chase.
Lien’s wife and two-year-old daughter were in the car at the time. His wife later said her husband acted because they faced “a life-threatening situation” from “a mob of reckless and violent motorcyclists.”
Lien was admitted to hospital after being pulled out of the car and beaten by the bikers, one of whom is shown smashing his helmet through the driver’s window.