They mounted up Sunday for their end of summer ride to Times Square. A ride that resulted in a road rage incident in Manhattan on the Hudson Parkway between the bikers and the driver of a black Ranger Rover, his wife and two year-old child.
One biker, Christopher Cruz, 28, was charged with reckless endangerment and endangering the welfare of a child for allegedly starting the incident by cutting in front of the Range Rover then slowing down while staring at its driver, causing the car to bump into the back tire of the bike. The driver, Alexian Lien, pulled over then was surrounded by Cruz other bikers who hit the vehicle and spiked its tires, police say.
Lien then pulled away, frightened for his family, plowing into three bikers and over one of them, breaking his legs and causing spinal injuries that left him paralyzed.
The bikers continued to chase the Ranger Rover, cornering the SUV after it became stuck in traffic. A video shows one of the bikers smashing the driver’s window, whereupon they dragged him out and beat him as his wife and child looked on.
If you’ve not seen the video here’s a link.
This is an interesting story for me from several perspectives. Being a car guy, I love Range Rovers. I have a friend who deals in wholesaling high-end exotics and luxury cars. Before buying a Cadillac SUV, I asked him about the Rover. He said, “Paul, I don’t believe in service contracts, they rarely pay off for the buyer; but if you buy a pre-owned Rover, get the maintenance contract!”
I’m also a biker guy, an interest fostered by my dad. He was a rider and one of the first things he ever did for me was to put a 3-hp Briggs & Stratton engine on my tricycle. I’ve been riding ever since. Last time around I had a Fat Boy and a Gold Wing. I put 28,000 miles on the Wing in 18 months, so I’m not your typical weekend “put on the Harley shirt and go for a ride” type. My oldest son is a sport bike rider and knows most of KC’s version of these biker gang guys around town.
We see groups like that in Kansas City – often number from 25 to 100 bikers – who take to the Interstates to “stunt.” And there are reports of them shutting down all the lanes of 435 to do so. They’ll lock down traffic and then wheelie down 435 or where ever they happen to be with no respect for other drivers or the law.
And while there are cries from the biker community to arrest the driver of the Range Rover, there are some clues in the video that tell me he’s not to blame.
It’s common for crotch rocket dudes to strap a GoPro camera to their helmets or bikes to capture their stunt activity for posting on YouTube later. In this case, there are signs that the camera man was a ring leader of the biker gang.
When the video gets to :30 seconds, it shows a rider pulling alongside the Range Rover who slows down as he looks into the driver’s side window. You can’t tell intent, but it’s clear he slowed at the window, looked inside, then immediately pulled in front of the Rover and rapidly came to a halt, causing the Rover to bump the rear of his bike.
The driver pulls away and the chase ensues. At :50 seconds the first attempt at surrounding him takes place and you can see him lunge forward over at least two bikes as he leaves the scene again.
At 2:45 it’s a full on chase and it’s easy to see the rider wearing the camera is giving instructions, pointing ahead of himself and patting the top of his helmet, indicating, you go ahead, I’ll say back and film.
As the video rolls to 3:35 you see the first attempt to stop the driver of the Rover and he’s surrounded by bikes and riders but he escapes again. At 4:56 he’s surrounded and an attempt is made to open his door.
The end of the video is where they succeed in catching the Rover but the actual attack has been removed.
Here’s the question of the day:
If you were surrounded by these guys and had your wife and toddler in the car, what do you do?
Most accounts said the driver called 911 several times and reported the erratic riding, but they make no mention of whether or not he also reported what he felt was the impending danger to himself and his family.
What rights do you think the biker dudes had, other than parking illegally in front of Latte Land?
What rights do you think the driver of the Range Rover had?
If I’m surrounded in the same exact way, in same exact circumstance, I’m running over as many bikers as I need to in order to assure my family’s safety.