More charges for cop in biker melee
Prosecutors in Manhattan Wednesday slapped more charges on the undercover NYPD detective arrested in connection with an assault on an SUV driver.
Wojciech Braszczok, 32 of Queens, was charged with first-degree gang assault and first-degree assault, on top of his criminal mischief charge.
Braszczok, an undercover detective with an NYPD intelligence division, was an “active participant” in the Sept. 29 assault and never called 911, according to prosecutors with the Manhattan district attorney. Braszczok is accused of punching the Range Rover SUV's back window and kicked the passenger side of the vehicle driven by Alexian Lien.
Defense attorney John Arlia denied Braszczok participated in the beatdown. “The video depicts in no point anywhere that my client is near Mr. Lien,” he said.
During the arraignment, Arlia said Braszczok was 12 feet away from Lien and that the SUV's window had already been broken.
"He never came into contact with the victim," Arlia said. "They overcharged my client."
Due to his work as an undercover detective, Braszczok was led out of the court house with his face hidden beneath a black hooded sweatshirt, according to Arlia.
The complaint said that Braszczok was seen on video riding a red Yamaha motorcycle and wearing a black vest with “WOJTEK” written on the front. Braszczok was released on $150,000 bond. His lawyer said he would be available to testify before a grand jury on Friday.
In addition to Braszczok, the district attorney also charged Clint Caldwell, 32, with gang assault and assault in the first degree. Caldwell, of Brooklyn, was accused of using his helmet to smash the driver's side window, which then caused multiple bikers to start hitting Lien through the window.
After Braszczok and Caldwell's arraignment, the NYPD said a sixth motorcyclist was charged. James Kuehne, a 31-year-old from Bensonhurst, was hit with charges for gang assault, assault, criminal possession of a weapon and criminal mischief.