In the days after Sunday’s morbid car biker chase which saw one man permanently paralyzed and another man, Alexian Lien and his family harassed, public outrage has ensued.
Forced to react to the outrage and the public’s disdain with what it considers lawless behavior by bikers, the Manhattan’s DA office has been put into an unenviable position of decoding who to charge and how to react to the fracas at hand.
With two bikers now in front of law makers attention, Christopher Cruz (who today made bail after being charged with reckless driving and unlawful imprisonment) and that of Allen Edwards who yesterday turned himself in.
Yet what was most surprising was how the DA’s office decided not to charge (for now they say) Edwards with a single crime even though it has been established he is the biker seen in the horror video trying to smash Alexian Lien’s rear window with his fists where his two year old daughter sat.
Nevertheless the failure to press any charges against Edwards and by extension other members of the bike group has begun to anger the public.
Told the nypost this morning of the mounting pressure to bring criminal charges against Christopher Cruz who initiated the Sunday’s fiasco when he purposefully braked in front of Alexian Lien’s Range Rover.
Cruz was caught on video allegedly starting the entire incident by brake-checking the victim’s black Range Rover during the Sunday biker rally — supposedly so that his companion bikers could take over the highway.
NYPD brass were hot on arresting Cruz despite zero evidence he’d committed an actual assault, sources told The Post.
“We arrested [Cruz] because of pressure from [police brass] to make an arrest in this case,” a second source said.
“It was completely against [the prosecutor's] judgment. The case is week. We needed much more investigation.”
The DA’s office relented because of pressure from the NYPD and widespread publicity about the case, a second source told The Post.
A statement from the DA’s top trial prosecutor, Karen Friedman-Agnifilo, confirmed that the office was proceeding with caution in building “the strongest cases possible” against the renegade bikers.
“Prematurely charging individuals with low-level crimes does not further the goals of the investigation, and could weaken the cases we expect to bring against the perpetrators of serious crimes,”
Which is to say although there is some political will to bring thuggery to account, authorities are flummoxed as to how they can necessarily legally prove their case, never mind the video that shows a horror at real time play.
What’s also disturbing is the authorities stance on pack biker mentality.
According to a source at the NYPD contacted by the Post, the department has a laissez-faire policy about group motorcycle rides in general, opting not to risk hurting bystanders or the motorcyclists themselves by pursuing. “The people who are doing this aren’t stopping when police try to pull them over,” the source said.
Which posits the question, can we necessarily expect a new approach by authorities in countering against aggressive biker mentality and what can we expect going forward with the current Alexian Lien fracas and the public’s all round disgust?