NYC Motorcycle Attack Update: Police search for two persons of interest in SUV-biker road rage case

Two persons of interest sought in connection with a motorcycle melee in uptown Manhattan
NYPD via CBS New York
(CBS/AP) NEW YORK - Police are looking for two new persons of interest seen on surveillance video in connection with a confrontation between a group of bikers and an SUV on the West Side Highway in Manhattan, according to CBS New York.

Authorities have released the photos of two persons of interest who they believe were involved in the September 29 melee, reports the station.

One of the bikers accused of smashing the front side window of the SUV, Reginald Chance, was arraigned Sunday on gang assault and other charges. The 37-year-old man is reportedly being held on a $75,000 cash bail.

Prosecutors say Chance's involvement played a key role in the beating of 33-year-old Alexian Lien, who was driving the SUV with his wife and 2-year-old daughter.

Chance's lawyer, Gregory Watts, reportedly admitted that his client overreacted by smashing Lien's window but denies that he assaulted Lien.

Watts also said Chance,a married father of six who has been unemployed since 2011, was knocked down by the SUV and was acting within his rights, according to CBS New York.

CBS News has learned Chance has 21 prior arrests on his record, including robbery and drug charges.

During the confrontation, a group of motorcyclists crossed paths with Lien, who was out for a drive to celebrate his wedding anniversary with his wife and their toddler. One biker, Christopher Cruz, 28, cut off Lien's Range Rover SUV and slowed down before it bumped his motorcycle's rear tire, police and prosecutors said.

Cruz is fighting misdemeanor charges including unlawful imprisonment.

Cruz and other bikers stopped and approached Lien, who drove off, allegedly running over biker Edwin "Jay" Mieses Jr. and breaking his spine and both his legs. The motorcyclists pursued Lien off the highway and onto a street, then attacked him when he got stuck in traffic, authorities said. Chance's bike was knocked down along the way when another biker tried to open the SUV's door and it drove on, Watts said.

After the SUV's window was broken, Lien was dragged out, beaten and stomped, needing stitches in his face, authorities said.

Another rider accused of participating in the beating, Robert Sims, 35, of Brooklyn, was arraigned Saturday on charges including gang assault. His lawyer, Luther Williams, said Sims denies the charges.

Prosecutors have declined to charge a fourth man who was arrested, at least for now.

Lien has not been charged with any crime.

Police are investigating whether an undercover police officer at the motorcycle rally witnessed the violent confrontation and didn't immediately report it, a law enforcement official said Saturday, speaking on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to speak publicly about the investigation. Police also are looking into whether any off-duty officers were there.

Meanwhile, a bystander hailed as a hero in the episode gave a public account Sunday of stopping the attack.

Lien was on the ground when bystander Sergio Consuegra stepped in between him and the bikers, Consuegra recalled at a news conference with local officials.

Feeling "intense danger," Consuegra told himself, "Let me not show these people that I'm here to engage in any kind of confrontation but that I'm here to protect the man and the family, so I'm going to keep it cool," he recalled. Consuegra, who's in his 50s, was on his way to church when he saw the encounter.

He spread his arms to shield the driver and told the bikers: "That's it, guys. Let it go. That's it. Let it go," he said. The bikers backed off, and Consuegra called police.

He said he felt he'd done the right thing. But "I do not call myself a hero," he said, "because I wish I could have done more."

Complete coverage of the New York City motorcycle attack on Crimesider

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