Cop in SUV-biker case won't testify at grand jury

Cop in SUV-biker case won't testify at grand jury

Posted: Updated:

JENNIFER PELTZ | AP

NEW YORK (AP) -- An undercover police detective arrested in a motorcyclist-SUV melee no longer plans to testify before a grand jury, his lawyer said Monday.

Attorney John Arlia initially indicated that Detective Wojciech Braszczok wanted to speak to the Manhattan grand jury that's considering indicting him. But Arlia said Monday he's advised Braszczok not to do so "because the evidence speaks for him."

"My client has complete confidence and faith this grand jury will determine that he in no way intended to injure, nor act in any way to injure" an SUV driver who was beaten by several other bikers, the attorney said. Video and other evidence will show Braszczok didn't come close to contact with the driver, Arlia said.

The Manhattan district attorney's office has said Braszczok nonetheless actively participated in the attack by shattering the SUV's back window and kicking its passenger side, and he has been charged with gang assault. The DA's office declined to comment Monday on his decision not to testify.

Many defendants ultimately choose not to testify before grand juries, for various reasons. It's not uncommon for defendants to give notice that they want to appear and then change their minds.

Braszczok was off-duty when he participated in a Sept. 29 motorcycle rally that took a violent turn. He's one of several riders who have since been arrested.

After the SUV driver bumped a bike that had slowed in front of it, motorcyclists surrounded and converged on the Range Rover SUV; its driver fled in fear for the loved ones riding with him and ran over a biker, and motorcyclists chased him, pulled him from the vehicle and attacked him, police and prosecutors say. The encounters were partly caught on a helmet-camera video posted online.

The SUV driver, Alexian Lien, hasn't been charged with any crime.

Braszczok did nothing to stop the assault or summon help, didn't report having been there to his superiors for a few days, and wasn't straightforward when he did, prosecutors said.

The detective was stripped of his gun and badge after internal affairs investigators discovered he saw at least part of the confrontation. He initially told authorities and his union that he didn't intervene in the attack partly because he works undercover.

Arlia has said that the window Braszczok is accused of breaking already had a sizeable hole in it. The detective didn't know other participants in the rally, which was organized online, and he pursued Lien only to prevent his flight after the SUV ran down and seriously injured motorcyclist Edwin Mieses Jr., Arlia said.

"The facts cannot be changed to lump him into an attack he was not a part of. We owe him and his family at least that much," Arlia said by phone Monday.

Braszczok has been a police officer for a decade.

It's unclear when the grand jury might vote on whether to indict him.

A spokesman for Lien didn't immediately return a call Monday.

  • Manhattan NewsManhattan NewsMore>>

  • Cuomo orders investigation into Time Warner outage

    Cuomo orders investigation into Time Warner outage

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 12:48 PM EDT2014-08-27 16:48:25 GMT
    Time Warner Cable suffered a nationwide outage primarily impacting its Internet service on Wednesday morning. More than 11 million customers were affected.  Several hours later, NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered an investigation into the outage. "I have directed the New York State Department of Public Service to investigate this outage as part of its review of Comcast's proposed merger with Time Warner," said Cuomo.
    Time Warner Cable suffered a nationwide outage primarily impacting its Internet service on Wednesday morning. More than 11 million customers were affected.  Several hours later, NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered an investigation into the outage. "I have directed the New York State Department of Public Service to investigate this outage as part of its review of Comcast's proposed merger with Time Warner," said Cuomo.
  • Landmarks to light up for StandUp2Cancer telethon

    Landmarks to light up for cancer telethon

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 11:21 AM EDT2014-08-27 15:21:16 GMT

    More than a dozen landmarks across the U.S. and Canada will light up to promote next week's "Stand Up to Cancer" telethon. Organizers say the buildings that will be illuminated starting Friday include Rockefeller Center, Toronto's CN tower and the Wrigley Building in Chicago. The hourlong cancer fund-raiser will air Sept. 5 at 8 p.m. on 31 U.S. broadcast and cable networks including FOX.

    More than a dozen landmarks across the U.S. and Canada will light up to promote next week's "Stand Up to Cancer" telethon. Organizers say the buildings that will be illuminated starting Friday include Rockefeller Center, Toronto's CN tower and the Wrigley Building in Chicago. The hourlong cancer fund-raiser will air Sept. 5 at 8 p.m. on 31 U.S. broadcast and cable networks including FOX.

  • Digital currency ATM in Greenwich Village

    Digital currency ATM in Greenwich Village

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 10:35 AM EDT2014-08-27 14:35:08 GMT
    The first ATM for BitCoin users in New York City is up and running in a store in Greenwich Village. The controversial, virtual currency is exchanged using a 'wallet' app on mobile devices. The ATM accepts cash but only returns virtual currency to the app. At the ATM in Flat 128, a store that sells UK-designed items, the fee for store owner Liz Dubois is less than that for a credit card transaction.
    The first ATM for BitCoin users in New York City is up and running in a store in Greenwich Village. The controversial, virtual currency is exchanged using a 'wallet' app on mobile devices. The ATM accepts cash but only returns virtual currency to the app. At the ATM in Flat 128, a store that sells UK-designed items, the fee for store owner Liz Dubois is less than that for a credit card transaction.
Powered by WorldNow

4739 NW 53rd Avenue, Sutie B
Gainesville, FL 32653

Phone: (352) 371-0051

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices