Lawmakers Call For Crackdown On Large Motorcycle Rallies
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Some New York City lawmakers are calling for a tougher crackdown on large crowds of motorcycles after the driver of a SUV was chased and attacked by a group of bikers on Sunday.
State Sen. Adriano Espaillat, Assemblywoman Gabriela Rosa and others gathered Thursday in Washington Heights where they unveiled what they said was new video of Sunday’s biker rally.
“I am concerned that this neighborhood has become the wild west of motorcycle drivers,” Espaillat said.
“We are a community. Everybody here has families and I don’t think that we need to be scared of walking the sidewalks,” Rosa said.
Espaillat said the video shows dozens of bikers earlier in the day Sunday on Dykman Street taking over a gas station, riding on the sidewalk and terrorizing people who were sitting outside at restaurants.
The video also shows bikers loudly revving their engines and blowing large plumes of exhaust smoke into the air.
Espaillat said he is proposing legislation limiting the number of bikes on city streets without a permit.
“Rampant, wild motorcycle riding in the streets of New York or the highways of New York is not safe and I think it’s just a death waiting to happen,” he said.
Espaillat said the video was taken just a few hours before a group of bikers got into an intense confrontation with the driver of a Range Rover on the Henry Hudson Parkway Sunday afternoon.
Police said Alexian Lien was driving his Range Rover with his wife and young daughter inside the car when he was chased by dozens of bikers and then attacked when he got off the highway around West 178th Street and St. Nicholas Avenue.
The entire incident was captured on video by one of the biker’s helmet-mounted camera and later posted to YouTube.
Espaillat said he knows someone who witnessed the attack and tried to help the family.
“He said there was an intent also to get to the wife,” Espaillat said. “He personally told me he had to spread out his hand and tell them, ‘enough, let it go.’”
Lien was taken to the hospital where he needed stitches to his face. His wife and child were not hurt. One of the bikers, Edwin Mieses Jr., was also injured in the incident when he was run over by the SUV.
Authorities have said the bikers were participating in a periodic rally in which more than 1,000 motorcyclists head for Times Square.
There were dozens of calls about reckless driving on Sunday and police said there were 15 arrests and 55 motorcycles confiscated.
Click here to watch the video.