The family of the SUV driver involved in the bizarre motorcycle confrontation Sunday in New York that left a Lawrence man hospitalized with serious injuries released a statement today, saying they feared for their lives and were forced to take the actions they did.

“Our sympathies go out to the injured motorcyclist and his family,” said the statement, which was released by Alexian Lien’s lawyers, Nicholas J. Massimo and Frank C. Panetta. “We were faced with a life-threatening situation.”

The statement said that Lien was “forced under the circumstances to take the actions that he did in order to protect the lives of our entire family.’’

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Lawrence resident Edwin “Jay” Mieses Jr., 32, who was riding one of dozens of motorcycles on the Henry Hudson Parkway Sunday afternoon, sustained two broken legs and other injuries after apparently being run over by the SUV, police said.

Lien, his wife, and their 2-year-old daughter were planning a day out to celebrate their wedding anniversary. Instead they were surrounded by a “mob of reckless and violent motorcyclists,” the statement said.

Video posted to the Internet showed the SUV breaking free from the crowd of motorcyclists and then being chased by them until the SUV stops and motorcyclists begin bashing in the windows. The motorcyclists also allegedly slashed the SUV’s tires and pulled the driver out and attacked him.

The family explained that they felt they were in grave danger, and said they believed anyone in their situation would have taken the same actions.

“We would like to thank the brave citizens who risked their own safety to intervene on our behalf,” said the statement.

“They truly helped save our lives and prevented my husband from suffering further injury,” said the statement, which was apparently written by Lien’s wife. “We also appreciate and are moved by the outpouring of love and support so many have expressed here in New York and around the country.”

The family asked for privacy while they recover and referred media and the public to the family’s lawyers.

The video of the incident, which was posted to the Web, drew worldwide attention to the incident.