NEW YORK — An off-duty undercover police detective was arrested late Tuesday after investigators said he was shown on video hitting and kicking a sport utility vehicle when a biker rally spiraled into violence.
Wojciech Braszczok surrendered to face riot and criminal mischief charges, New York Police Department spokesman John McCarthy said.
Braszczok’s attorney, Phil Karasyk, had said Monday that the detective, a 10-veteran of the force, had only witnessed other bikers attacking the vehicle. But investigators discovered video evidence showing him punching an already damaged back window, then twice kicking the side of the SUV before leaving the scene, according to two people familiar with the case.
The arrest added to the complexities of the Sept. 29 episode, which authorities say began with a reckless motorcycle group ride on a Manhattan highway and ended with one motorcyclist run over and the driver dragged from his SUV and beaten on a street.
Four bikers aside from Braszczok have been criminally charged; the latest was arraigned Tuesday on gang assault and other charges.
NYPD internal affairs investigators had initially been looking into the undercover detective’s conduct because he didn’t report until three days later that he had been at the rally.
The encounter, captured partly on a helmet-mounted video that was posted online, began when about two dozen riders slowed down, swarming the Range Rover after it bumped a biker on the West Side Highway. Some riders dismounted and approached the SUV, and police said some bikers began damaging it.
The SUV driver, Alexian Lien, took off, running over motorcyclist Edwin ‘‘Jay’’ Mieses Jr., 32, from Lawrence, Mass. The impact broke Mieses’ legs and caused spinal injuries that may leave him paralyzed.
Lien’s wife has said he feared for their lives and the safety of their 2-year-old daughter and had no choice but to flee; Lien hasn’t been charged with any crime.