LAWRENCE, Masss. — The motorcyclist seriously injured when an SUV plowed over him while fleeing from a group of bikers in New York City had his right to drive revoked 14 years ago and has racked up several traffic violations since then, state transportation records show.
Edwin Mieses Jr., 32, Lawrence, Mass., was among several bikers surrounding a Range Rover on the Henry Hudson Parkway Sunday afternoon, causing it to stop and then momentarily surrounding the vehicle before the driver accelerated from the scene.
A widely-viewed YouTube video of the enusing 6 1/2-minute chase by the bikers attracted national attention to the confrontation.
The video was taken by a biker with a helmet camera. It ended with one of the pursuers smashing the SUV driver's side window with a helmet, but it did not show that the driver, Alexian Lien of New York, was dragged from the vehicle and beaten while his wife and 2-year-old daughter looked on.
Lien's wife, Rosalyn Ng, issued a statement Thursday saying the family feared for their lives when the bikers first swarmed the Range Rover after one of them deliberately cut off the SUV and caused the vehicle to stop.
"We were faced with a life-threatening situation, and my husband was forced under the circumstances to take the actions that he did in order to protect the lives of our entire family," said Ng.
She said she was sorry a biker was seriously injured -- spinal injuries as well as broken legs that his mother said may leave him paralyzed -- when her husband sped away, but that "anyone faced with this sort of grave danger would have taken the same course of action in order to protect their family."
The wife said the couple was driving into Manhattan to celebrate their wedding anniversary when they were suddenly surrounded by a group of bikers hogging all three lanes of the parkway.
The injured biker is represented by Gloria Alfred of Los Angeles, a well-known civil rights lawyer who often takes controversial cases. She declined to comment on whether Mieses plans legal action against the Range Rover driver.
Mieses, the injured biker, had his driver's permit suspended in Massachusetts in 1999 after a spate of traffic violations in Lawrence, including speeding, failure to stop, attaching improper plates, driving without insurance and driving an unregistered vehicle, according to state records.
Since then, he has accumulated numerous other violations for driving without a license, along with speeding and driving to endanger, the Massachusetts Registery of Motor Vehicles said.
Massachusetts officials said Mieses never received a driver's license for a car or a motorcycle, and that they reported him to the national registry as a habitual traffic law offender.
Details for this story were provided by The Eagle-Tribune, North Andover, Mass.