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.
The 29-year-old detective 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.
The cop 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 him 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 the cop 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 the cop 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 he intended to cause someone serious physical injury.
The cop didn’t touch Lien, sources acknowledged.
And while Lien’s 2-year-old daughter was in the vehicle’s back seat when the cop 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 the cop’s behavior rises to the legal standard of gang assault, sources said.
Mayor Mike's New York City.
Where the cops do the beat-downs both on duty and off.