The New York County district attorney’s office says a New Jersey man is facing charges in the bizarre confrontation last weekend between the driver of a sport utility vehicle and a group of motorcyclists in New York in which a Lawrence man was injured, breaking both of his legs.
Christopher Cruz, 28, of Passaic, N.J., was charged with unlawful imprisonment in the second degree and reckless driving, acording to the complaint filed against him, which was released by the office of District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr.
Cruz allegedly drove a motorcycle that slowed down in front of an SUV, which then came to a stop in the early moments of the incident that spiraled out of control.
The detective filing the complaint said that a video showing the incident posted to the Internet showed Cruz pulling in front of a black SUV driving north on the Henry Hudson Parkway and “slowing his motorcycle down while looking behind him in the direction of said vehicle.”
The video also showed Cruz’s motorcycle and the SUV making contact — and the SUV stopping with numerous motorcycles around it, blocking its movement, the detective said.
The detective said he showed the video to Cruz and Cruz “stated in substance” that he was the person on the motorcycle. The detective also noted that the speed limit on the road is 45 miles per hour.
Bail for Cruz was set at $1,500 cash or $15,000 bond at a hearing today before Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Abraham Clott. The judge ordered Cruz to surrender his passport and suspended his driver’s license, the district attorney’s office said in an e-mail.
The district attorney’s office also said today that it would not prosecute a second man who was arrested Tuesday “pending further investigation of the entire incident.”
The investigation continues today, said New York Police Detective Martin Speechley.
The Lawrence man, Edwin Mieses Jr., 32, who was one of the group of people riding motorcycles, is recovering in a New York hospital. He does not face charges. The driver of the Range Rover has not been charged, either.
A group of motorcyclists surrounded the car on a highway and when one biker appeared to purposely stop directly in front of the car, it sparked a wild confrontation and chase, according to police and footage of the incident, the Globe reported this morning. The chase allegedly ended with the motorcyclists slashing the SUV’s tires, smashing its windows, and attacking the driver.