Wojciech Braszczok admitted on the witness stand that he did nothing to help a Manhattan father pulled from his SUV and beaten by a group of bikers, part of a tense exchange as the accused NYPD cop took the witness stand at his trial.
Branszczok is accused in the beating of Alexian Lien, a father whose 2013 beating was caught on video and made national headlines.
Lien was driving on the West Side Highway when one of the bikers – who were part of an unauthorized group ride in the city – stopped in front of his vehicle. Lien struck the biker, leading a group of other bikers to surround his car.
When the group became aggressive, Lien put his Range Rover in drive and plowed through the group, seriously injuring one of them. The bikers gave chase through the city, and when Lien stopped at a red light the bikers shattered his window and pulled him from the car, beating him while his wife and infant daughter were inside the car.
Prosecutors accused Wojciech Braszczok of leading the SUV assault, shattering Lien’s back window and helping others pull him from his seat. Investigators said Braszczok did not report that attack when he met with his superiors, then lied about his role when finally confronted on it.
At his trial this week, prosecutors tore into Braszczok on the stand.
“At the time you saw this man on the ground being beaten you did not intervene to help him, correct?” asked Assistant District Attorney Joshua Steinglass.
“Right. I looked over, I didn’t know who was in the car. I felt unsafe,” Braszczok replied.
“I was afraid of who was inside the vehicle.”
“But I didn’t know who was in the back,” he claimed. “I didn’t see who was inside the car. I didn’t know.”
The prosecutor said that Braszczok could have seen Lien’s infant daughter in the backseat covered in glass shards “if you bothered to look.”
Braszczok claimed he was trying to detain Lien, believing that he had killed the biker he ran over. But the undercover NYPD cop said he believed it was too dangerous to step in once the beating started.
The cop has maintained his innocence since his arrest in 2013. At the time, Braszczok’s lawyers claimed he could not have been responsible for the broken window.
“It’s an absolute overcharge. He is in no way near [the biker who attacked the SUV driver] and doesn’t join the others…. They can’t prove it…. The allegation is that he struck the rear portion hatchback window, which has a gaping hole already in it; it’s already destroyed. Under the law, it’s a fatal flaw. You can’t break what’s already broken.”
When asked during this week’s trial if he took part in the beating, Wojciech Braszczok remained defiant, saying, “In my heart and in my mind, I believe I did not commit any crime.”
[Image via YouTube]