NEW YORK -- The ex-undercover officer arrested after a 2013 melee among bikers and the driver of an SUV in New York has been sentenced to two years in city jail, according to the New York County District Attorney's Office.
Wojciech Braszczok was acquitted in June on the charge of gang assault in the first degree, but found guilty on lesser charges of second-degree assault, first-degree riot, second-degree criminal mischief and two counts of first-degree coercion, all felonies.
"Acts of violence can rapidly escalate, and in this case, within a matter of minutes this group of bikers began a ferocious and unrelenting assault on the victim, alarmingly close to his wife and young daughter. The convictions of 11 defendants demonstrate that gang violence of any kind is a threat to public safety that will not be tolerated," District Attorney Cyrus Vance said in a statement after the convictions.
Alexian Lien and his wife, Rosalyn Ng, testified in New York Supreme Court about the videotaped attack that started in southern New York City and ended with injuries to multiple people in northern Manhattan.
Lien described the feeling when he realized a motorcycle rally had escalated to a mob: "Complete fear of my life, my wife's and my daughter's."
Added Ng, "I thought we were going to die."
The incident began when bikers began blocking traffic and running red lights, endangering pedestrians, Lien testified. Once traffic began to move, the bikers slapped cars as they navigated between them, he said.
Growing annoyed by the slow-moving traffic as she and her husband tried to celebrate their anniversary in New Jersey, Ng threw a half-eaten plum out the window, Lien said.
That's when one of the cyclists punched the driver-side mirror of Lien's SUV, he said. When Ng tried to take a picture of the cyclist's license plate, the bikers grew angrier, he said.
"He was waving for other motorcyclist to come towards us," Lien said in court. "You can tell that he was screaming profanities at us, and he was also making gestures, slitting a throat gesture."
The SUV and bikers continued north on the highway and the SUV tapped one of the motorcycles from behind.
"A motorcyclist pulls up in front of me, and he starts speeding up, slowing down, speeding up, slowing down," Lien said in court. "At a point where he slowed down too fast and I wasn't able to brake fast enough, so I tapped him. ... He didn't wobble, he didn't fall off his bike, continued."
Bikers dismounted their bikes and surrounded the SUV, using their helmets to attempt to smash in the car windows.
After cyclists were able to briefly open the passenger door, Ng told her husband to pull away: "We're not going to survive this if we're sitting here. So I told him just go."
The SUV ran over one of the bikers, seriously injuring him. Bikers followed the SUV as it pulled off the highway. As it was stopped at a red light, they swarmed the vehicle and pulled Lien from the front seat, punching him repeatedly before throwing him on the ground and kicking him.
Men also tried to pull his wife from the passenger seat.
"They get my door open and there's like two, three guys in there. They're hanging me out like this one's pulling my leg, another grabbing my arm. They're saying, 'I'm going to kill you, I'm going to get you,' " Ng testified. "They couldn't drag me out of the car because I had my seat belt on."
Ng climbed into the back seat to get to her 2-year-old-daughter, who had "glass all over her," she testified.
Ng told a 911 dispatcher, "My husband's bleeding all over the street. We need help. We need an ambulance."
Defense attorney John Arlia said the off-duty Braszczok did not take part in the attack and did not tell colleagues about seeing the assault because he feared for his job, according to WABC, but the district attorney said Braszczok "knocked out the rear window of the SUV, showering the cabin of the SUV and its occupants -- Lien's wife and 2-year-old daughter -- with broken glass. The defendant continued to the passenger side and delivered two roundhouse kicks to the rear door and window area."
Braszczok's attorney did not immediately return messages seeking comment.