A Lawrence man is recovering in a New York hospital after being struck Sunday by a Land Rover in New York City during a wild confrontation between the Land Rover driver and dozens of motorcyclists.
Motorcyclist Edwin Mieses Jr. sustained at least two broken legs during the incident, which has drawn national attention after dramatic video of it was posted on the Internet.
New York City’s top cop, Commissioner Raymond Kelly, is expected to update the New York media today on the incident, the second time he has addressed the media about it.
Police have not charged the driver of the SUV, but have posted images to their Twitter account seeking to identify at least two motorcyclists seen smashing through the driver’s side window of the SUV with a helmet before the driver is pulled out of the vehicle and beaten.
The SUV driver, described in New York media as an executive out with his wife and 2-year-old daughter, was treated for cuts and bruises at a hospital and released.
At least one of the bikers who attacked the SUV in the final moments of the six-minute long drama is now under arrest, according to police.
Police said today that a total of three motorcyclists were injured during the incident, the most seriously being a 32-year-old Hispanic man who suffered at least two broken legs. Of the motorcyclists, Mieses has been identified by officials and his family as the most seriously injured.
According to Facebook postings by his wife, Dayana Mejia, and by friends supporting him, Mieses uses the stage name of Jay Meezee. A “Justice for Jay Meezee” page has been created on Facebook where Mejia reported that her husband is in a coma and is paralyzed.
“That man paralyzed my husband,” Mejia told WBZ-TV, speaking about the SUV driver. “He needs to pay for what he did.”
The incident has triggered an intense debate on the Facebook page between those who say the SUV driver acted in fear of his life because of the large number of motorcyclists who surrounded and attacked his car, and those who say Mieses is a victim of a crime because he was not among the attackers but was ruthlessly plowed down by a driver who should have watched where he was going.
According to The New York Times, Commissioner Kelly said the bikers were apparently part of loosely organized group of motorcyclists who planned to drive into the heart of the city as they had done last year, effectively paralyzing Times Square. Kelly said his department was on alert this year and stopped bikers throughout the city before they could grow into a large throng.
In addition to the Facebook page, a woman has created a fund-raising page for the Mieses family with a goal of raising $2,000 to help defray travel costs to New York. Shortly before noon, the site had collected $285 from 12 people. John R. Ellement can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @JREbosglobe.