DA Vance: Two Members of Biker Group Convicted at Trial for Roles in Gang Assault on Driver


June 9, 2015

Victim’s Wife and Two-Year-Old Daughter Were Inside Vehicle Throughout Attack

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., today announced the trial conviction of WOJCIECH BRASZCZOK, 34, an undercover police officer, and ROBERT SIMS, 36, for their roles in a vicious gang assault on a 33-year-old SUV driver whom the defendants encountered while traveling with a group of separately convicted motorcycle riders on the West Side Highway. BRASZCZOK and SIMS were convicted following a bench trial in New York State Supreme Court of Assault in the Second Degree, Criminal Mischief in the Second Degree, and Riot in the First Degree, among other charges. Additionally, SIMS was convicted of Attempted Gang Assault in the First Degree and Attempted Assault in the First Degree. BRASZCZOK is expected to be sentenced on August 5, 2015, and SIMS is expected to be sentenced on August 6, 2015.

“The explosive nature of this gang assault—much of it captured on camera—was shocking, and for the victim and his family, a terrifying ordeal,” said District Attorney Vance. “Acts of violence can rapidly escalate, and in this case, within a matter of minutes this group of bikers began a ferocious and unrelenting assault on the victim, alarmingly close to his wife and young daughter. The convictions of eleven defendants demonstrate that gang violence of any kind is a threat to public safety that will not be tolerated.”

As proven at trial, on September 29, 2013, BRASZCZOK and SIMS were riding motorcycles with a group of individuals on the West Side Highway when a separately convicted defendant, Christopher Cruz, deliberately decelerated his bike in front of the SUV in which Alexian Lien, his wife, and his two-year-old daughter were traveling. The deceleration caused the front of Lien’s vehicle to make contact with the back of Cruz’s bike, drawing the attention of several other riders, who surrounded the vehicle and blocked its movement. Several riders then dismounted and closed in on the vehicle while threatening Lien and his family, prompting Lien to drive forward in an attempt to break out of the area, and in the process, strike a motorcyclist.

Lien continued to drive while being aggressively pursued by BRASZCZOK, SIMS, and a group of riders that included separately convicted defendants Allen Edwards and Edwin Rodriguez. Near the George Washington Bridge exit, SIMS got off of his bike, ran to the side of the SUV, and pried open the driver’s side door. Initially, Lien was able to temporarily elude the bikers by accelerating and turning on to 178th Street. However, the group of motorcyclists persisted in pursuit, and while the vehicle was stopped at 178th Street and St. Nicholas Avenue, a separately convicted defendant, Reginald Chance, bashed the driver’s side window with his helmet until the glass shattered, allowing two other separately convicted defendants, Craig Wright and Clint Caldwell, to charge the SUV and strike Lien repeatedly through the broken window, initiating a violent gang assault.

Kaliq Douglas, a separately convicted defendant, dragged Lien out of the vehicle and threw him to the ground, where he was brutally kicked, struck, and beaten to the point of unconsciousness by SIMS and multiple other separately convicted defendants including Wright, Douglas, and two other separately convicted defendants named Jason Brown and James Kuehne. Several of these individuals also used their helmets to land blows on Lien.

At the back of the vehicle, BRASZCZOK knocked out the rear window of the SUV, showering the cabin of the SUV and its occupants—Lien’s wife and two-year-old daughter—with broken glass. The defendant continued to the passenger side and delivered two roundhouse kicks to the rear door and window area.

To date, all eleven defendants indicted in connection with the assault have been convicted of crimes including Attempted Gang Assault in the First Degree, Assault in the Second Degree, Attempted Assault in the Second Degree, Criminal Mischief in the Second Degree, Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Third Degree, and Riot in the First Degree.

Assistant District Attorneys Joshua Steinglass and Brian Mason handled the prosecution of the case under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Armand Durastanti, Chief of Trial Bureau 40, and Executive Assistant District Attorney John Irwin, Chief of the Trial Division. Technology Analyst Mallory Evans and Trial Preparation Assistant Hannah Wurgaft provided additional assistance with the case.

Defendant Information:

WOJCIECH BRASZCZOK, D.O.B. 2/11/1981
Queens, NY

Convicted:

  • Assault in the Second Degree, a class D violent felony, 1 count
  • Criminal Mischief in the Second Degree, a class D felony, 1 count
  • Coercion in the First Degree, a class D felony, 2 counts
  • Riot in the First Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

ROBERT SIMS, D.O.B. 7/17/1978
Brooklyn, NY

Convicted:

  • Attempted Gang Assault in the First Degree, a class C violent felony, 1 count
  • Attempted Assault in the First Degree, a class C violent felony, 1 count
  • Assault in the Second Degree, a class D violent felony, 2 counts
  • Coercion in the First Degree, a class D felony, 2 counts
  • Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Third Degree, a class D felony, 1 count
  • Riot in the First Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

JASON BROWN, D.O.B. 8/20/1973
Brooklyn, NY

Convicted:

  • Assault in the Second Degree, a class D violent felony, 1 count
  • Riot in the First Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

CLINT CALDWELL, D.O.B. 5/12/1976
Brooklyn, NY

Convicted:

  • Assault in the Second Degree, a class D violent felony, 1 count
  • Riot in the First Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

Sentenced:

  • One year in jail

REGINALD CHANCE, D.O.B. 10/8/2013
Brooklyn, NY

Convicted:

  • Assault in the Second Degree, a class D violent felony, 1 count
  • Criminal Mischief in the Second Degree, a class D felony, 1 count

Sentenced:

  • Two years in state prison, three years’ post-release supervision

CHRISTOPHER CRUZ, D.O.B. 5/5/1985
Passaic, NJ

Convicted:

  • Assault in the Second Degree, a class D violent felony, 1 count
  • Riot in the First Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

Sentenced:

  • Four months in jail, five years’ probation

KALIQ DOUGLAS, D.O.B. 10/4/1985
Brooklyn, NY

Convicted:

  • Assault in the Second Degree, a class D violent felony, 1 count
  • Riot in the First Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

ALLEN EDWARDS, D.O.B. 3/16/1974
Queens, NY

Convicted:

  • Assault in the Second Degree, a class D violent felony, 1 count
  • Riot in the First Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

Sentenced:

  • Five years’ probation

JAMES KUEHNE, D.O.B. 1/17/1982
Brooklyn, NY

Convicted:

  • Assault in the Second Degree, a class D violent felony, 1 count
  • Riot in the First Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

EDWIN RODRIGUEZ, D.O.B. 2/1/1979
Brooklyn, NY

Convicted:

  • Assault in the Second Degree, a class D violent felony, 1 count
  • Riot in the First Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

Sentenced:

  • Five years’ probation

CRAIG WRIGHT, D.O.B. 8/21/1984
Brooklyn, NY

Convicted:

  • Assault in the Second Degree, a class D violent felony, 1 count
  • Riot in the First Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

Sentenced:

  • Two years in state prison, three years’ post-release supervision

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