It's unclear if SUV driver Alexian Lien will face any charges for plowing through a group of motorcyclists on the Henry Hudson Parkway Sunday. The NYPD says the "investigation is ongoing," and Lien has not spoken to the media. But in a statement released this morning, his wife, who was also in the vehicle with their young daughter, said her husband had no choice. "We know in our hearts that we could not have done anything differently, and we believe that anyone faced with this sort of grave danger would have taken the same course of action in order to protect their family."
"Our sympathies go out to the injured motorcyclist and his family," the statement continues. "However, we were faced with a life-threatening situation, and my husband was forced under the circumstances to take the actions that he did in order to protect the lives of our entire family." After a lengthy chase, captured on this helmet-cam video, a group of bikers successfully surrounded Lien's vehicle in Washington Heights, smashed the driver's side window, and beat him.
Here's the whole statement:
Our plan last Sunday was to celebrate our wedding anniversary by having a nice family day out with our two-year-old daughter. Unfortunately, instead, we were placed in grave danger by a mob of reckless and violent motorcyclists.
Our sympathies go out to the injured motorcyclist and his family. However, we were faced with a life-threatening situation, and my husband was forced under the circumstances to take the actions that he did in order to protect the lives of our entire family. Our fear for our lives was confirmed when the incident ended with the ruthless and brutal attack on my husband, me, and, most importantly, our two-year-old child. We know in our hearts that we could not have done anything differently, and we believe that anyone faced with this sort of grave danger would have taken the same course of action in order to protect their family.
We would like to thank the brave citizens who risked their own safety to intervene on our behalf. They truly helped save our lives and prevented my husband from suffering further injury. We also appreciate and are moved by the outpouring of love and support so many have expressed here in New York and around the country.
We would ask that the public and the media to respect our privacy at this difficult time and allow my husband to recover from his injuries. From here on forward we would ask that any further inquiries regarding this unfortunate incident be directed to our lawyers Nicholas J. Massimo and Frank C. Panetta.
Meanwhile, famous lawyer Gloria Allred, who has represented clients in lawsuits against Michael Jackson, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Carlos Danger, will reportedly represent the dirt bike rider who was severely injured by Lien. NBC New York reports that Allred has been retained by the family of Edwin Mieses, who is possibly paralyzed after he was run over by Lien. (Asked this morning to confirm her involvement in the case, Allred told us, "No comment today.)
Dozens of motorcyclists rallied outside St. Luke's Hospital last night in solidarity with Mieses, whose wife told DNAinfo, "This is a family. This is not a gang." Another biker told NBC New York, "We're not savages, we're not animals. We're just average people that love to ride." Here's video, via Opposite Lock, of some of the motorcyclists riding through the city; skip to the one minute mark:
One biker, Christopher Cruz, who's seen in the original video braking in front of Lien's vehicle, has been arrested and charged with menacing, reckless endangerment, reckless driving, and endangering the welfare of a child. (Lien's two-year-old daughter was in the vehicle.) Cruz's attorney told reporters yesterday, "His motorcycle was struck, and he stood right there. He never assaulted this man. He never tried to assault him in any way, and he does not know any of the other motorcyclists who were involved in this beating.”
A second motorcyclist who was seen at the end of the video when the Range Rover's window was shattered turned himself into police and was charged, but the Manhattan DA has decided not to prosecute him.
At the rally, another motorcyclist told DNAinfo, "I don't believe this gentleman [Lien] was afraid. His actions showed aggression. Imagine how many accidents you'll have if you can run somebody over and not be charged." Yes, just imagine.