MANHATTAN (CN) – Two of the motorcyclists seen in a viral video assaulting a 33-year-old SUV driver along the West Side Highway participated in a riot, a New York judge found Tuesday.
Judge Maxwell Riley threw the book at Robert Sims, 36, and Wojciech Braszczok, 34, convicting them of assault, riot, criminal mischief, and other charges for stemming from their highly-publicized attack on a driver two years ago.
On Sept. 29, 2013, Alexian Lien had been driving his wife and his two-year-old daughter next to the Hudson River when he rear-ended a motorcyclist who decelerated in front of him.
Finding himself and his family surrounded by 11 motorcyclists, Liem hit the gas to escape and hit one biker in the process. A chase followed up the West Side Highway approaching the George Washington Bridge exit, where the bikers stopped the SUV, broke through the window, and dragged Liem out of the car for in an attack caught on tape.
Sims had been the first arrested on the scene, and Braszczok had been an undercover police officer from Queens.
In a statement, New York District Attorney Cyrus Vance said: “The explosive nature of this gang assault – much of it captured on camera – was shocking, and for the victim and his family, a terrifying ordeal.”
He noted that nine other bikers have been convicted.
“Acts of violence can rapidly escalate, and in this case, within a matter of minutes this group of bikers began a ferocious and unrelenting assault on the victim, alarmingly close to his wife and young daughter,” Vance added. “The convictions of 11 defendants demonstrate that gang violence of any kind is a threat to public safety that will not be tolerated.”
Braszczok will be sentenced on Aug. 5, and Sims a day later.
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