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NYC Motorcycle Attack Update: Bikers put us in "life-threatening situation," wife of SUV driver Alexian Lien says

Alexian Lien, 33, was treated for cuts and bruises and released from hospital after being assaulted by motorcyclists. WCBS

(CBS) NEW YORK - The wife of Alexian Lien, the driver of an SUV who police say was attacked by a large group of bikers on a New York City highway Sunday, says her family was "faced with a life-threatening situation" and that her husband was forced to take the actions that he did.

In a statement released Thursday, Rosalyn Ng said their sympathies go out to the injured motorcyclist and his family.

"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," the statement read.

Ng said that the couple planned to celebrate their wedding anniversary with their 2-year-old daughter. But instead, they were swarmed Sunday by a motorcycle rally on Manhattan's West Side Highway.

Police say the incident was touched off when a biker slowed down and bumped Alexian Lien's Range Rover. Video captured at the scene shows Lien surrounded by dozens of helmeted riders before he takes off and strikes one. The bikers give chase and Lien is eventually stopped, pulled from the SUV and beaten.

He was taken to a hospital for stitches for his face.

The biker who was run over as the SUV fled, Edwin Mieses Jr., broke his legs and suffered spinal injuries that will leave him paralyzed, said his wife, Dayana Mieses, who said the motorcycle riders had wrongly been vilified in the episode.

At least one other biker was injured.

On Wednesday, a motorcyclist accused of touching off the confrontation was charged with reckless driving while investigators searched for key players in the driver's beating.

Christopher Cruz, 28, of Passaic, N.J., was arraigned Wednesday on misdemeanor charges or reckless driving and unlawful imprisonment.

Defense lawyer H. Benjamin Perez said Cruz didn't try to trap or assault the driver and denied all the allegations.

Meanwhile, the Manhattan district attorney's office decided to not immediately prosecute a second arrested person, Allen Edwards, who surrendered on Tuesday.

Prosecutors said they were continuing to look into the entire incident, and they told a judge they intend to take the case against Cruz to a grand jury, signaling that more charges are likely.

Investigators have questioned Lien and are looking to speak to as many of the bikers as they can, including the one whose helmet-mounted camera recorded the events.

The motorcyclists were participating in a rally in which more than 1,000 bikers head for Times Square, police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said.

Kelly would not say whether Lien was right or wrong in what he did.

"You have to look at the totality of the circumstances and that's what we're doing," Kelly said.

Complete coverage of the New York City motorcycle attack on Crimesider

  • Stephanie Slifer

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