MIDTOWN — A motorcyclist paralyzed last fall during an altercation between an SUV driver and a group of bikers on the West Side Highway said Wednesday that he didn't fault the driver for running him over while trying to escape.
“I don’t blame him,” Edwin Mieses told the “Today” show’s Savannah Guthrie on Wednesday, speaking out for the first time since the Sept. 29, 2013 incident that led to the arrests of close to a dozen bikers — including an undercover police officer. “At the end of the day, I’m not him to know what was going through his mind.”
Mieses was left with a severed spine, a torn aorta and nine broken ribs after SUV driver Alexian Lien ran him over in an attempt to escape a group of bikers that surrounded his car during a Sunday drive with his wife and child.
Neither Lien nor Mieses was charged in connection to the incident. But prosecutors are currently pursuing charges against 11 bikers in connection to the incident, including undercover NYPD detective Wojciech Braszcok, who allegedly pursued Lien's vehicle and smashed one of Lien's windows at the end of a multi-block pursuit. Lien was then yanked from his vehicle by bikers who beat him in front of his wife and child, prosecutors said.
The altercation was captured on video and posted online.
Mieses, who appeared on the show in a wheelchair with his wife Dayana Mieses and lawyer Gloria Allred, insisted Wednesday that neither he nor any of his fellow bikers posed any threat to the SUV’s driver, Alexian Lien.
Mieses added that when Lien tapped his SUV bumper into the back of fellow biker Christopher Cruz's bike, he decided to get off of his bike and walked toward Cruz to check on him.
“As soon as I seen (the damage) really wasn’t that serious, I was telling guys to just keep going because I really didn’t want to ruin the ride,” Mieses said. “As soon as I turned around and started walking back towards my bike, that’s when I got ran over.”
Doctors have told Mieses there’s a 99.9 percent chance he will never walk again, but he said, “I refuse to believe that. I want to walk more than (the doctors) want me to walk.”
“It’s like, what would I give to be able to walk again or to be able to use a bathroom again on my own?” he asked. “Simple, basic things that we all experience as humans, but we don’t value as much as we would a job. That has allowed me to see things from a different angle.”