US & Canada

Biker Christopher Cruz charged in New York road crash

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Media captionThe footage - posted online in an edited form - was apparently filmed by a helmet cam

A motorcyclist has been arrested in connection with a New York City roadway confrontation that left another biker in hospital and an SUV driver beaten.

Christopher Cruz, 28, appeared in court on Wednesday, charged with reckless driving and unlawful imprisonment.

On Sunday, bikers surrounded and beat the driver of an SUV in front of his wife and young child, after the driver ran over another biker, police said.

Mr Cruz's lawyer said his client was not involved in the beating.

Police say a minor traffic accident that Mr Cruz caused provoked the attack on the SUV driver.

Earlier on Sunday, hundreds of motorcyclists participated in an unsanctioned rally in New York City, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said.

Authorities say Mr Cruz was riding in a parade of cyclists up the West Side Highway in Manhattan when he cut in front of a Range Rover and slowed down, causing the vehicles to collide.

A helmet-mounted camera worn by another motorcyclist captured the seconds before the accident and then showed about two dozen riders surround the stopped SUV.

Image caption A video shows a motorcyclist, thought to be Mr Cruz, prior to colliding with the SUV

The driver of the SUV, Alexian Lien, appears to have panicked and accelerated, ploughing ahead and striking at least one biker before heading north.

After that incident, a group of motorcyclists chased the SUV for roughly 2.5m (4km) until the vehicle exited the highway and became stuck in traffic.

The video shows one motorcyclist smashing the SUV driver's side window with his helmet.

Authorities say the bikers pulled Mr Lien, 33, from the vehicle and beat him in front of his wife and two-year-old child. He required stitches to his face and was treated in hospital and released.

Edwin Mieses Jr, a biker struck by the fleeing SUV, remained in hospital on Wednesday with broken legs and spinal injuries that will leave him paralysed, his family told reporters.

His mother and wife have said he approached the SUV after the initial, minor accident to help out. They demand Mr Lien be prosecuted.

New York police have thus far declined to press charges against Mr Lien but say they will continue to investigate. Police are looking for other bikers involved in the incident, including one seen on video striking Mr Lien's car window with his helmet.

Mr Cruz's bail was set at $1,500 (£924).

A second person involved in the incident was arrested, but prosecutors determined they would not file charges against him.