The incident was sure to get attention, taking place on one of the busiest roads in one of America's busiest cities. But the story caught on even more after video of the episode -- captured when motorcyclist Kevin Bresloff turned on his helmet camera after seeing a water bottle thrown from the SUV's sunroof toward the bikers, his attorney Andrew Vecere said -- went viral.
According to Turino, motorcyclists heading north on Manhattan's West Side Highway "were driving recklessly, ... obstructing vehicle traffic, running red lights, swerving between lanes" when one of them -- later identified as Christopher Cruz -- quickly slowed down in front of Lien. Lien's vehicle then bumped Cruz's rear tire, slightly injuring him.
The Range Rover then pulled to a stop, at which point angry bikers surrounded his vehicle, hit it and spiked its tires, police said.
Lien's vehicle then began moving again -- plowing into three more bikers, including Edwin Mieses, whose wife, Dayana Mieses, said earlier this week has been told there's a 1% chance he'll never walk again.
As it moved away, the SUV was chased by motorcyclists, who caught up with it near the George Washington Bridge. Several bikers dismounted and approached the vehicle, with one of them opening its door, before Lien then drove away again.
Motorcyclists continued their pursuit, with some speeding ahead of him to help halt traffic. That's where the ordeal ended -- with Lien getting dragged out, kicked and hit. He suffered cuts to each eye, his right cheek, the left side of his body, and his lip, in addition to a pair of black eyes and abrasions to his hand, back and shoulder, according to Turino.
His wife and 2-year-old daughter were unharmed.
7 motorcyclists facing charges
Including Braszczok, Caldwell and Kuehne, seven people -- all motorcyclists -- have been or will be charged in the case, police said. Authorities, who have appealed for the public's help in identifying people in some photos, haven't ruled out more arrests or charges.
"In the last few days, serious charges have been brought against several defendants in last Sunday's attack," Erin Duggan, a spokeswoman for the Manhattan District Attorney's Office, said Wednesday. "As we said from the beginning of the investigation, the NYPD and the District Attorney's Office are methodically scrutinizing the evidence to build the strongest possible cases in our continuing effort to hold accountable those responsible."
The other motorcyclists are:
• Christopher Cruz, 28, who police say is the biker who slowed in front of Lien, was charged with reckless driving and other misdemeanors. He has been released on bond.
His lawyer, H. Benjamin Perez, said, "He never tried to assault him in any way. And he does not know any of the other motorcyclists who were involved in this beating."
• Robert Sims, 35, is accused of stomping on Lien. He surrendered Friday on charges of attempted assault and gang assault.
• Reginald Chance, 37, who was captured on video smashing his helmet into the SUV's window, has been charged with first-degree assault and gang assault. He was ordered held on $75,000 bond on Sunday.
Turino said Chance's license had been suspended and he should not have been driving. She said his arrest record includes a marijuana charge in 2013 and attempted criminal possession of a weapon in 2006.
"The law does permit someone who is a victim of an accident to at least attempt to get the identification of the motorist," said Chance's attorney, Gregory Watts. "My client obviously overreacted in that manner, but he is not this thug assaulting someone who's harmless, contrary to the public opinion that's being put out there."
He said Chance was knocked off his motorcycle by Lien's SUV after bikers had surrounded the vehicle earlier.
• Craig Wright, 29, was arraigned Tuesday on gang assault and other charges and then ordered held on $150,000 bond. Wright is accused of stomping Lien at least twice after police say he and other motorcyclists forced the man's Range Rover to a stop, used their helmets to break out the window and dragged him out of the car.
According to court documents, police say Wright, 29, identified himself in a picture showing him standing near the stopped SUV. Another photograph shows him stomping Lien as the man lies on the ground, according to the documents.
Wright is charged with first-degree gang assault, first-degree assault and first-degree unlawful imprisonment. He was arrested at his home in Brooklyn.
In March, Wright pleaded guilty to driving with a suspended license, a spokesman for the Brooklyn district attorney said. It is unclear whether he was driving with a suspended license at the time of the SUV incident. He was also convicted in Virginia in 2005 for reckless driving.
Judge Amaker set Wright's next court date for Friday.
That's the same day the prosecution will present its case to a grand jury. Both Braszczok and Caldwell's lawyers, at the least, said their clients intend to testify then.
Defenders of the bikers, including relatives of Mieses, the critically injured biker, have criticized Lien for driving through the crowd of motorcycles.