An NYPD cop who infiltrated Occupy Wall Street, encouraging activists to break the law, only to later be part of the motorcycle mob that chased down a family in a Range Rover, pulling the father out of the car to beat him, was sentenced today to two years in jail.
Wojciech Braszczok, who shattered the SUV’s back window with his fist during the 2013 attack, said he did so because somebody from inside the car had thrown something at him, which somehow made it through the closed window, making him fear for his life.
But this was one of those rare occasions that the “officer safety” line did not work.
According to the New York Post:
Braszczok joined in on the mayhem by smashing the SUV’s back window. He said he believed someone had thrown an object at him through the window, which is why he shattered it with his fist.
“I was scared. I was being targeted,” the burly cop said when he testified in his own defense in June.
He said he quickly realized the scene was getting out of control.
“The guy was getting beat up,” Braszczok said. He said he did not stick around to watch but caught a glimpse of the beatdown as he rode off.
“I wish I could have done more to help them but I really made that decision that I was leaving – it was unsafe for me,” he said.
In fact, Braszczok was so fearful for his safety, he showed up to his trial earlier this year with a cloth over his face, which is something he will likely not be allowed to do in jail in order to hide his face from the other inmates.
The truth is, anybody watching the video of the September 29, 2013 incident could see it was Alexian Lien who was in fear for his safety
Lien, who was driving the Range Rover with his wife and 2-year-old daughter, found himself surrounded by a mob of motorcyclists, who were attempting to clear the road of cars so they could have it all to themselves to perform stunts.
Most cars pulled to the side or slowed down to give the bikers the space they wanted, but Lien remained on the road, prompting one of the bikers to pull in front of him and apply the brakes, causing the SUV to strike the motorcycle.
Lien came to a stop, which was when the motorcyclists surrounded the SUV and began beating on the windows while attempting to open the door and pull him out.
Lien stepped on the accelerator, running over several motorcycles and striking a motorcyclist, who was left paralyzed.
The motorcyclists chased him for several miles while Lien’s wife called 911 four times during an eight-minute span before the bikers caught up to him, pulled him out of the SUV and beat him.
One of the motorcyclists was wearing a camera mounted on his helmet, capturing a video that he posted online in the hopes to gain sympathy about his fallen comrade who was left paralyzed.
But most people sympathized with Lien, who saw it for what it was. A gang of bikers taking the law into their own hands.
Once the video went viral, the New York City Police Department opened an investigation, only to find out several NYPD cops were actually participating in the motorcycle ride, including an internal affairs cop named Matthew Rodriguez, who was part of the bureau investigating the incident.
But Brasczcok was the only cop to have taken part in the attack.
Nine other defendants avoided jail time by accepting plea deals, placing them on probation. Another defendant, Robert Sims, who can be seen opening Lien’s door, opted to go to trial and was convicted. He will be sentenced on Thursday.
This won’t be the first time Braszczok will spend time in a jail cell. During the Occupy Wall Street protest, he ended up arrested and spent a few nights in jail with other activists, but that was just part of the role he had created for himself.
Watch videos of the motorcycle mob incident below.