The country was horrified when a family was chased down by a gang of motorcycle riders and the father, Alexian Lien, was dragged from his SUV and beaten. The bikers were angry that Lien had hit one of their riders, reportedly breaking his leg, and angrily chased after him on their bikes. When Lien, who was in his vehicle with his wife and 2-year-old daughter, feared for their safety, he barreled off through the crowd, running over three men -- one now fighting for his life. Now his wife, Rosalyn Ng, has spoken out for the first time. Her words make you realize how truly terrifying the incident was for them.
The family's lawyers released a statement in Rosalyn's words, saying:
Our plan last Sunday was to celebrate our wedding anniversary by having a nice family day out with our two-year-old daughter. Unfortunately, instead, we were placed in grave danger by a mob of reckless and violent motorcyclists. Our sympathies go out to the injured motorcyclist and his family. However, we were faced with a life-threatening situation, and my husband was forced under the circumstances to take the actions that he did in order to protect the lives of our entire family. Our fear for our lives was confirmed when the incident ended with the ruthless and brutal attack on my husband, me, and, most importantly, our two-year-old child. We know in our hearts that we could not have done anything differently, and we believe that anyone faced with this sort of grave danger would have taken the same course of action in order to protect their family.
After watching the video, it is immensely clear that Lien felt his life was in danger, with good reason. But there are two sides to every story.
At least one motorcyclist witness described Lien as a "maniac" and accused him of not stopping after hitting the first biker, who was arrested on reckless driving charges.
Apparently angry that he hit the first biker and didn't stop, the gang surrounded Lein's vehicle and at least one began banging on his window with his helmet. His tires were slashed.
Fearing for his family's life, he took off, running over three other bikers and injuring one seriously. Edwin Mieses, who was trying to help the first biker who was hit, is now reportedly paralyzed and in a coma.
Eventually, the bikers catch up to Lien, drag him from his car, and slash his face.
So far, one biker has been arrested, and another, who turned himself in for questioning, was released after charges were surprisingly dropped. Some reports say that the man was actually trying to help Lien -- even though video shows him punching the car's window. (Perhaps after that one punch he realized things were getting out of control.)
What is clear is that someone came to help the family, for Rosalyn said in her statement:
We would like to thank the brave citizens who risked their own safety to intervene on our behalf. They truly helped save our lives and prevented my husband from suffering further injury. 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.
Ever since I saw the video, I've been asking myself what I would have done if I'd seen this. There is absolutely no way I could have taken on dozens of large, angry bikers. But I would have wanted to. And I would have lost. But it's heartening to know that there were people who may have prevented further injury to Lien and his family.
This is a situation that would have benefited immensely from cooler heads prevailing. If the bikers felt that Lien hit someone and didn't stop, a 911 call would have done the trick. But now they are the ones in the hot seat. Cops are still hunting the biker who banged on Lien's window with his helmet.
Who do you think is at fault?
Image via CBS News