NYPD Officer Charged in Biker Attack Won't Speak to Grand Jury, Lawyer Says
MANHATTAN — The undercover NYPD detective charged with assaulting a driver after a motorcycle chase on the Henry Hudson Parkway will not testify before a grand jury, his lawyer said Monday night.
Det. Wojciech Braszczok, 32, who once infiltrated Occupy Wall Street while working in the NYPD's Intelligence Division, was part of a group of motorcyclists who chased Alexian Lien, his wife and his daughter up the Henry Hudson Parkway on Sept. 29, smashed the window of Lien's SUV and beat him unconscious, according to authorities.
The detective was charged with gang assault, assault and criminal mischief for bashing the rear window of Lien's SUV while others dragged him from the vehicle, beat and stomped on his head, according to court records.
One of the dozens of bikers in the throng wore a helmet-cam that recorded most of the incident.
"My client will not testify before a grand jury because the evidence speaks for him," his lawyer John Arlia said.
"All the evidence, including the video tapes, will establish that my client is nowhere close to coming in contact with Mr. Lien despite access and opportunity to do so. My client was seen separate and away from the attack, approximately 12 feet."
Prosecutors charge that Braszczok used his helmet to knock a grapefruit-size hole in the rear window of the family's Range Rover. Arlia declined to address the cracked window.
He said that his client followed Lien up the road after seeing him run over one of the bikers, Edwin Mieses, during the initial confrontation on the highway.
"Mr. Lien drove over and crushed Mr. Mieses's spine, paralyzing him, and fled the scene," Arlia said. "The detective chased Mr. Lien to prevent his escape, not to attack him."
He said that Braszczok, who he said did not know the other bikers, left the scene once the motorcyclists started attacking the vehicle and the situation got out of control, because he did not want to jeopardize his undercover status.
"The detective, for years, went deep undercover, risking both his life and his family's life to fight crime," the lawyer said. The detective saw others calling 911 and decided that officers would arrive soon, he said.
"The facts can't be changed to lump him into an attack that he was not a part of," Arlia said.
The Manhattan District Attorney's office declined to comment.
Lien's lawyer Frank Panetta also would not respond to Arlia's comment.