A man who filmed a video of a violent confrontation between an SUV driver and a swarm of bikers during a motorcycle rally in Manhattan has been receiving death threats, his attorney said.
Kevin Bresloff, whose video went viral last week, has been cooperating with police in the investigation, his lawyer told NBC 4 New York. The video has helped investigators identify suspects and piece together the assault. Bresloff's attorney said he began receiving death threats since his identity became known.
The video was made last weekend when several bikers stopped a Range Rover SUV on a highway, attacked the vehicle, then chased the driver and pulled him from the car after he plowed over a motorcyclist while trying to escape, police said. The driver, Alexian Lien, needed stitches after being pummeled by the bikers.
The motorcyclist who was crushed by the SUV, Edwin Mieses Jr., of Lawrence, Mass., suffered a broken spine and two broken legs and may never walk again, his family said.
Bresloff's video cuts out just as the assault against the Lien occurs. Law enforcement sources said initially Bresloff claimed the camera battery died.
Robert Sims, 35, of Brooklyn, was arraigned Saturday in Manhattan on charges of first-degree gang assault, first-degree assault and third-degree criminal possession of a weapon. Bail was set at $100,000. A criminal complaint notes video shows Sims was among five to six motorcyclists who attacked Lien after he was dragged out of the car, and says Sims stomped Lien in the head and body.
An attorney for the 35-year-old Sims did not immediately return a call for comment. There was no listed telephone number for Sims at the address where police said he lived. He is the third person to face formal charges in connection with the attack, though the case against one of those motorcyclists was subsequently dismissed when prosecutors said they needed more time to investigate.
A fourth man, 37-year-old Reginald Chance of Brooklyn, was arrested by police Saturday and charged with gang assault, assault and criminal mischief. Police say Chance is the man who used his helmet to smash through the SUV's front window.
On Sunday, Chance was brought briefly into court, where Manhattan state Supreme Court Justice Charles Solomon explained that court personnel had been trying to reach Chance's lawyer but hadn't heard from him.
Chance, in a dark pants and a brown hooded sweatshirt, said he'd spoken to the lawyer earlier in the day.
The judge said he hoped to be able to conduct the arraignment later Sunday afternoon.
Lien will not face charges, law enforcement officials said. He has been cooperating with investigators and is expected to testify before a grand jury in the coming week. Lien's wife, who was in the car with their daughter at the time of the attack, said in a statement this week they feared for their lives as they drove off.
Mieses' family held a news conference Friday with their lawyer in which they said that he wasn't doing anything wrong when he was struck by Lien's SUV. They acknowledged that Mieses had stopped his bike in front of the family's vehicle but said he was trying to get the other riders to leave the family alone when he was hit.
At a press conference Sunday, a man who intervened in the beating of the driver said he "felt intense danger" as he protected the assaulted man.
Sergio Consuegra said had been on his way to church on Sept. 29 when he saw an SUV stop on 178th Street in Manhattan and a group of motorcyclists approach.
Consuegra said the riders started hitting the car, and that one of them tried to grab Lien's wife, who was in the car along with their child.
"She was kind of making some sounds," he said. "I saw a baby inside; she had the baby in her arms, I guess she was protecting the baby from all the glass that was flying inside and outside."
Lien was on the ground when Consuegra stepped in between him and the bikers.
"There was more coming, and they feel like they wanted to keep hurting the man -- and I felt intense danger at that moment, at that time, and I say to myself, '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.' That's what I was thinking," Consuegra said.