Biker Cop Charged In SUV Attack Provided Intel for OWS Zuccotti Park Raid
MANHATTAN — The undercover detective arrested for being part of the road-rage motorcycle mob that assaulted a Manhattan dad spent weeks living among Occupy Wall Street protesters in their downtown encampment before the raid on Zuccotti Park, sources told DNAinfo New York.
Detective Wojciech Braszczok, 32, of Queens, was undercover in 2011 providing an insider’s view of the Occupy protesters and their tent village in Zuccotti Park.
Braszczok’s information, along with other intelligence gleaned by the NYPD, helped the department craft their shock-and-awe plan to clear the Occupy protesters out of Zuccotti Park.
Sources said Braszczok presently works undercover inside the NYPD’s Organized Crime Intelligence Division and may have been riding with the bikers partly to find another long-term undercover project for the NYPD.
Braszczok's alleged role in the motorcycle clash surfaced several days after the Sept. 29 incident when he finally told the NYPD he was among the mass motorcycle ride, but took no action to help Alexian Lien, who was beaten by riders. He claimed he did not want to compromise his undercover status and had arrived at the beat-down just as it was ending.
But that was untrue, according to prosecutors from the Manhattan District Attorney's office and the NYPD's Internal Affairs Bureau.
According to officials, video of the brutal assault on Lien not only captured Braszczok at the crime scene, it also showed him slamming his fist against the rear window of Lien’s Range Rover and kicking the side of the vehicle.
On Tuesday, Braszczok became the sixth biker charged in connection the case. He was charged with riot and criminal mischief.
"Sometimes an undercover spends too much time in a role, becomes the character and forgets what side of the law he is on," said a source familiar with the case.
Prosecutors claim Braszczok joined the motorcycle chase after Lien ran over a biker while trying to get away from a group of motorcyclists that surrounded his car on the Henry Hudson Parkway.
In an Internet video that has since gone viral, the motorcyclists can be seen chasing Lien from about West 125th Street to West 178th Street, smashing his windows, pulling him from the Range Rover, then beating him as his wife and 18-month-old daughter sat terrified in the car.
Lien suffered cuts above both eyes, on his cheeks and scrapes to his hands, back and shoulders, his wife said.
Braszczok, who had been placed on modified assignment, has now been formally suspended from the force.
Also arrested was 32-year-old Clint Caldwell, of Flatbush, on Tuesday for assaulting Lien, cops said. He was awaiting charges Wednesday of gang assault, assault, and criminal mischief.
The Manhattan District Attorney's office has charged four other men for their involvement in the attack, including Craig Wright, 29, who was arraigned earlier Tuesday on charges that he stomped on Lien's head and body after dragging him out of the Range Rover.
He is being held on $150,000 bond.
Still others remain at large.
Police released photos Tuesday of several other men they would like to speak to about the attack.
Sources say that as many as six off-duty officers were at the rally, including another detective who was recently arrested for fighting with his Queens assistant district attorney girlfriend. City correction officers were also among the bikers.