An off-duty undercover cop was charged with felony criminal mischief Tuesday after smashing the window of a Manhattan driver’s SUV in a fit of rage during a biker-mob attack, sources said.
“He totally lied when he said he did nothing [to help the victim] because he didn’t want to blow his cover,’’ a law-enforcement source seethed.
Wojciech Braszczok, 32, was awaiting arraignment in Manhattan Criminal court on the rap, which could land him up to four to seven years behind bars if convicted, depending on how much financial damage he did to Alexian Lien’s Range Rover when he bashed in the glass.
Braszczok didn’t tell his superiors that he’d been part of the ride until three days after Lien’s beat-down — and then claimed that he was afraid of blowing his cover and too far from the action to help Lien at the time.
But it turned out that video caught Braszczok smashing Lien’s SUV window with his hand in anger during the road-rage attack, sources said. Minutes earlier, Lien had bumped his car into a biker’s ride after the cyclist slowed down in front of him to let his buddies ahead, prompting a high-speed chase and the eventual violence.
If the damage that Braszczok caused to Lien’s car is above $1,500, it’s a D felony carrying a possible sentence of up to seven years, sources said. If the dollar amount is below that, it drops to an E felony, which carries a maximum possible four-year term.
The NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau wanted to nail Braszczok on stiffer charges, but prosecutors were still trying to figure out if they could hit him with something such as a gang-assault rap, which carries up to 25 years, sources said.
For that charge to stick, they’d have to prove that Braszczok intended to cause someone serious physical injury.
Braszczok didn’t touch Lien, sources acknowledged.
And while Lien’s 2-year-old daughter was in the vehicle’s back seat when Braszczok smashed its window, the windows were tinted — so he could argue that he didn’t know she was there, sources said.
Another biker, Reginald Chance, was charged with gang assault even though he also didn’t touch Lien — but that’s because he smashed Lien’s driver’s side window, clearing the way for Lien to be dragged out and beaten by others, sources said.
Prosecutors are still methodically scrutinizing video stills from the scene and witness accounts to see if Braszczok’s behavior rises to the legal standard of gang assault, sources said.
The development came as another biker who helped in Lien’s beat-down was arraigned in Manhattan Court on Tuesday.
Craig Wright, 29, of Brooklyn can allegedly be seen on video throwing punches through the shattered driver’s-side window of the 33-year-old victim’s Range Rover in front of Lien’s terrified wife and 2-year-old daughter. Wright is also seen allegedly kicking Lien outside the SUV. He was held on $100,000 bail Tuesday.
Cops are searching for at least six more suspects.
Meanwhile, Christopher Cruz, 28, who allegedly started the chain of events by slowing down his bike to let his pals ahead — leaving Lien to bump his car into him — said in an interview aired Monday that he felt no responsibility.
“I was looking over my shoulder to see where my friends were,” he told ABC News. “I wanted them to pull in front so I could follow them. I didn’t brake, but when I looked over my shoulder, my hand came off the throttle a little, but the driver didn’t slow down at all and bumped me.”
Additional reporting by Kirstan Conley, Rebecca Rosenberg and Yoav Gonen and Kate Sheehy
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