NYPD detective pleads not guilty in biker gang attack on SUV driver

Detective Wojciech Braszczok (covered) exits Manhattan Supreme Court in New York, November 20, 2013. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Detective Wojciech Braszczok (covered) exits Manhattan Supreme Court in New York on Nov. 20. Credit: Reuters

An undercover New York detective pleaded not guilty Wednesday to gang assault in connection with an attack on an SUV driver who was chased for several miles along a Manhattan highway by a group of motorcycle riders.

Detective Wojciech Braszczok, 32, arrived in state Supreme Court in Manhattan with his face completely obscured by a wool scarf and left the building the same way. He stood silently through his arraignment on charges of assault, criminal mischief and the most serious, gang assault in the first degree.

In court, prosecutors requested that he be required to give up his American passport and the Polish passport he is believed to hold.

Braszczok is one of 11 motorcyclists charged in a 14-count indictment with pursuing a sport utility vehicle on Sept. 29 driven by a man traveling with his wife and 2-year-old daughter. Riders surrounded the car, smashed the vehicle’s windows and dragged the driver, Alexian Lien, 33, from the car and beat him in a videotaped incident that went viral on the Internet.

The incident began with a fender-bender between the Range Rover SUV and one of the motorcyclists traveling north on Manhattan’s Henry Hudson Parkway, police said.

Riders pursued the SUV for about 50 blocks, and the incident escalated when the driver accelerated through the crowd of motorcyclists, injuring one rider and scattering several bikes.

Braszczok’s attorney, John Arlia, declined to comment Wednesday about the case or whether there is more video evidence that will be presented to help clear his client.

The detective, who was arrested about a week after the assault, is free on $150,000 bail. He faces up to 25 years in prison if he is convicted on the top counts.

The Manhattan district attorney’s office declined to comment on the case.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

California passes 'yes-means-yes' campus sexual assault bill

Californian lawmakers passed a law on Thursday requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on…

National

Syrian refugees top 3 million, half of all…

By Stephanie NebehayGENEVA (Reuters) - Three million Syrian refugees will have registered in neighboring countries as of Friday, but many remain trapped by the advance…

International

North Korean leader's money manager defects in Russia:…

A senior North Korean banking official who managed money for leader Kim Jong Un has defected in Russia and was seeking asylum in a third country, a South Korean newspaper…

Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 29,…

The Department of Transportation and NYPD said there may be residual delays near all of the street closures on August 29, 31 and 31. Several streets and avenues will be…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

Movies

Criterion's new Jacques Demy box mixes the light…

Jacques Demy, the most effervescent of French New Wave filmmakers, gets a Criterion box all to himself, with classics like "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg."

Entertainment

Comedian Joan Rivers, 81, rushed to New York…

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Acerbic comedian and fashion critic Joan Rivers was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on Thursday after she reportedly…

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…