UK & World News
Biker To Fight Manhattan 'Gang' Brawl Charges
A motorcyclist accused of smashing the window of an SUV in a violent confrontation between the driver and a group of bikers has made his first appearance in court.
Reginald Chance made an obscene gesture toward news cameras during his court appearance.
Chance, who is charged with gang assault, assault and criminal mischief, was being held on $75,000 (£47,000) cash bail.
Prosecutors say Chance smashed the window of the SUV with his helmet after the prolonged confrontation on the streets of Manhattan last month.
Chance "set into motion a chain of events that resulted in the driver being dragged out of his vehicle and beaten" by others, Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Samantha Turino said.
Chance's lawyer, Gregory Watts, acknowledged his client broke the window in a burst of anger but said the charges were overblown.
Mr Watts said the SUV's door had knocked his client down earlier in the encounter that went from a Manhattan highway to a neighbourhood street.
"This is not a man riding around assaulting people with a quote-unquote 'gang,'" Mr Watts said.
"We will hotly contest those allegations."
Chance is a married father of six who has been unemployed since being laid off from a food-service company, his attorney said.
The September 29 confrontation was caught on a helmet-mounted camera worn by a biker and was posted online anonymously.
The video showed about two dozen riders slowing down, swarming the SUV and blocking its path.
At various points the Range Rover speeds away. On one occasion it runs over one of the bikers, Ed Mieses, who suffered spinal injuries and may never walk again, according to his family.
Eventually the SUV was stopped, some bikers got off their bikes and approached the vehicle, smashing the window.
The footage does not show what happens after that, but police said some of the bikers pulled out the driver, 33-year-old Alexian Lien, and beat him up.
Mr Lien, who was in the car with his wife and two-year-old child, was left needing stitches to his face.