Biker Run Over in SUV Dispute Hires Celebrity Attorney Gloria Allred

Edwin Mieses Jr. suffered spinal injuries and broken legs in a confrontation between an SUV and a group of riders on the West Side Highway

By Shimon Prokupecz, Checkey Beckford and AP
|  Thursday, Oct 3, 2013  |  Updated 10:43 AM EDT
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Biker Paralyzed in SUV Dispute Hires Allred as Scores Rally

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On the same day 100 motorcyclists rallied near his Manhattan hospital, the biker who was run over during a dispute caught on camera between a group of riders and an SUV driver hired celebrity attorney Gloria Allred to represent him in a potential case against the man who mowed him down.

The family of Edwin Mieses Jr. announced Wednesday in a statement that they retained the media-savvy Los Angeles attorney who stars in a courtroom TV show and has represented clients in lawsuits against Michael Jackson, Arnold Schwarzenegger and former mayoral candidate Anthony Wiener.

Mieses broke his leg and suffered spinal injuries after he and a group of bikers clashed with a Range Rover on the West Side Highway Sunday. The altercation has drawn national attention since footage from a biker's helmet-mounted camera went viral, garnering nearly 6 million YouTube views.

"There's no hope for his back," his wife Dayana Mieses told reporters. "They crushed his spine. They broke it in two different places, so he will be forever, forever paralyzed."

Mieses' wife has said her husband was the victim in the confrontation, which ended in the beating of the Range Rover's driver. Wednesday night, bikers rallied outside of the upper Manhattan hospital where the 31-year-old is recovering. 

"We're not savages, we're not animals," said one rider. "We're just average people that love to ride." 

Another motorcyclist said "no one is getting justice for this gentleman in the hospital."

The confrontation was set off when one of the bikers and the SUV bumped as motorcycles swarmed the vehicle. The video shows the whole group, 20 or 30 in all, stopping in front of the Range Rover, some of them dismounting. Then, the vehicle takes off, bouncing over one of the bikes and its rider in the process. After that, the bikers chase the SUV for several minutes.

The chase ended when the SUV exited the highway and got stuck in traffic. The video shows one biker using his helmet to smash the driver's window. Police said the group then pulled the man from the SUV and beat him in front of his wife and two-year-old child, although that part isn't shown on the recording posted online. 

The SUV driver, Alexian Lien, was taken to the hospital for stitches. He has not been charged. But Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said they were still investigating.

"Well, it depends on what the circumstances are," Kelly said. "It depends on whether or not your vehicle is being attacked, whether or not you think you're being attacked, whether or not your wife and child's in the car. You have to look at the totality of the circumstances, and that's what we're doing."

Two bikers had been arrested since the ride, but one has been released.

Allen Edwards, 42, of Queens — believed to be the man seen on video striking the Range Rover's rear driver's side window with his fists, surrendered to police on Tuesday. But the Manhattan DA declined to prosecute, "pending further investigation of the entire incident," the office said Wednesday.

Sources said he has been cooperative and there is no indication he participated in the beating. He may have even tried to come to the victim's aid, sources said.

The other arrested biker, Christopher Cruz, of Passaic, N.J., was charged with second-degree unlawful imprisonment and reckless driving. Cruz, who was uninjured, was arraigned Wednesday. Prosecutors say he deliberately slowed down in front of the Range Rover on the West Side Highway, trapping him there, but Cruz's lawyer said that was not true.

The bikers were in town for an event called Hollywood Stuntz, where motorcyclists drive around Manhattan doing tricks. The NYPD received more than 200 complaints over the weekend relating to the event, the department said.

Thursday, upper Manhattan community members and local politicians will hold a press conference where they'll release footage of the bikers riding on sidewalks and overwhelming blocks with exhaust fumes, according to a statement.

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