An NYPD cop was arrested Tuesday for his role in last month’s horrific biker attack on an SUV in New York City, seen here. Ten-year veteran Wojciech Braszczok, 32, was charged with riot and criminal mischief after telling outright lies to Internal Affairs regarding his role in the assault on the SUV, reports CBS News on Oct. 8.
Braszczok originally told investigators that he did not arrive on the scene until after Alexian Lien, 33, was dragged out of his SUV and beaten in front of his wife and two-year-old child. However, viral video of the terrifying incident proved otherwise – Braszczok was one of the first to assault the Range Rover when it became boxed in at an intersection.
“It shows him punching the back window,” an unnamed police source said. “And then as the camera is moving it catches him maybe throwing a kick at the side of the car.”
Braszczok played a key role in inciting other bikers to lash out when he vandalized the SUV, smashing in the rear window of Lien’s vehicle, but then drove off as Lien was yanked to the ground, punched, kicked and stomped on.
The detective was working undercover, although it’s unclear if his riding with approximately 30 street bikers was part of his “cover.” Nevertheless, the NYPD union head stuck up for the cowardly detective.
“Compromising his identity could compromise all the work he's doing and his safety,” Michael Palladino, president of the NYPD detectives union, said. “It's very difficult to lead a double life.”
If Braszczok did nothing, perhaps that argument could be made, although Internal Affairs is actively investigating at least two other NYPD officers who were part of this gang of enraged bikers. But for the detective to actually play a key role in the assault and then skedaddle is inexcusable.
Another video that's emerged in the case shows Alexian Lien on the ground in Washington Heights, surrounded by a mob, with one man, bystander Sergio Consuegra, heroically stepping in between Lien and the bikers.
In addition, NYPD has released photos of four more suspects wanted for questioning in the assault. If you know these men, police ask that you contact them.
In case you've missed the details leading up to this week’s news, here is a recap:
Braszczok is the sixth man arrested thus far, although additional arrests are likely forthcoming. Arrested to date in the motorcycle mayhem are:
Craig White, 29: Arrested Tuesday on charges of assault, gang assault and unlawful imprisonment and jailed on $100,000 bail. Prosecutors say Wright punched Lien through the window of the SUV and then kicked him while he was on the ground.
Clint Caldwell, 32: Arrested for gang assault, assault, and criminal mischief, Caldwell allegedly helped pull Lien out of the SUV and then participated in the beating.
Reggie Chance, 37: Chance catalyzed the motorcycle mayhem by smashing in the window of Alexian Lien's SUV. Video shows Chance was the first to attack the Range Rover, using his helmet to smash Lien’s side window.
Robert Sims, 35: One of the bikers who participated in the beating. Sims, seen wearing number 78 in the video, has been charged with felony gang assault and is being held on $100,000 bail after video showed him stomping on the head and body of Lien.
Christopher Cruz, 28: The N.J. man who started it all by forcing Lien to hit him. Cruz was charged last week with reckless endangerment, reckless driving, endangering the welfare of a child and menacing. Cruz says the reason he brake-checked the SUV was to allow the entire gang of bikers to move in front of Lien. When Cruz suddenly slowed, Lien hit him, and the entire gang bikers stopped. Some started to punch the SUV and slash at Lien’s tires, causing Alexian to flee, running over one of the bikers and touching off the road rage incident.