Despite 'Intense Danger,' Christian Bystander Stops Bikers' Gang Assault on NY SUV Driver

( [email protected] ) Oct 07, 2013 02:56 PM EDT
New York SUV Assault Incident Sergio
Sergio Consuegra who’s in his 50s and on his way to church stepped in between Lien, who was on the ground, and the bikers, effectively stopping the beating.

New York SUV driver Alexian Lien was on the floor and the bikers continued to beat and stomp him in front of his wife and their 2-year-old toddler. But a bystander who was on his way to church and happened to witness the beating stepped in and effectively deterred the bikers from further harming the Asian-American man and his family.

Sergio Consuegra, who's in his 50's, recounted on Sunday the encounter at a new conference with local officials. He said he felt "intense danger," but convinced himself, "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."

He spread his arms to shield the driver and told the bikers: "That's it, guys. Let it go. That's it. Let it go," he said. The bikers backed off, and Consuegra called police.

Consuegra said he felt he'd done the right thing, saying he hopes his act of bravery will serve as a reminder to the country and a lesson to his children to do the right thing. His action is a reminder of the Bible story of the 'Good Samaritan' who helped his neighbor who was beaten up.

But "I do not call myself a hero," he said, "because I wish I could have done more."

Reginald Chance, 37, who is suspected of using his helmet to bash in the driver's window, appeared at an arraignment in a New York City court Sunday. He stands charged with several felonies, including gang assault in the first degree and assault.

Chance had turned himself in on Friday as the third suspect and the fourth biker to be arrested. Meanwhile, investigators have called for help in locating two more bikers connected with the attack.

On Sept. 29, a group of motorcyclists crossed paths with Alexian Lien, 33, who was out for a drive to celebrate his wedding anniversary with his wife and their 2-year-old toddler. One biker, Christopher Cruz, 28, cut off Lien's Range Rover SUV and slowed down before it bumped his motorcycle's rear tire, according to police reports.

Then, the bikers approached the SUV, and Lien and his family, sensing danger, sped away while running over another Biker and knocking down other motorcycles. This led to the bikers chasing the SUV from a Manhattan highway to a neighborhood street, where Lien had to stop because of traffic.

Reginald Chance, 37, and his bike was knocked over by the SUV's door that was opened by other bikers who tried to get Lien who then sped off. After chasing down Lien, Chance used his helmet to smash the driver-side window, and other bikers then dragged Lien out from the car and proceeded to beat him, with one stomping on his head.

Chance turned himself in and is held on $75,000 cash bail. Prosecutors said he played a key role in the SUV driver's beating.

Although Chance didn't hit or kick the driver, by shattering the driver's side window, he "set into motion a chain of events that resulted in the driver being dragged out of his vehicle and beaten" by others, Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Samantha Turino said, according to Christian Science Monitor.

Gregory Watts, lawyer for Chance, acknowledged his client broke the window in a burst of anger, but did not participate in hitting the driver Alexian Lien or encouraging anyone else to do so. He said Chance is a married father of six who has been unemployed since a 2011 layoff from a food-service company.

Chance made an obscene gesture toward news camera during his court appearance, the CSM reported.

Robert Sims, 35, of Brooklyn, who beat and stomped on Lien's head, turned himself in and was arraigned Saturday on charges including gang assault. His lawyer, Luther Williams, said Sims denies the charges.

Cruz, the rider of the first motorcycle hit, was charged with reckless endangerment and released after posting $1,500 cash and $15,000 insurance bond.

Meanwhile, Edwin "Jay" Mieses Jr., who was run over when Lien took off after his SUV was surrounded by the bikers, was critically injured, with his spine and both legs broken.

Lien has not been charged with any crime.

Police are investigating whether an undercover police officer at the motorcycle rally witnessed the violent incident and didn't immediately report it.