Some insane stuff went down on New York's busy West Side Highway this weekend, all captured by a disturbing GoPro video at the scene. A group of bikers, broken off from an annual rally called the "Hollywood Block Party," surrounded a man driving a Range Rover, were run over by said Range Rover, then followed the guy to 218th Street, where they beat and slashed him with his wife and child watching. 15 people have been arrested, 55 motorcycles have been seized, but contrary to some Internet reports, no one died.
It's difficult to say with any confidence who was at fault here.
Biker gangs are, of course, The Worst, and this one—if Twitter and Reddit chatter is to be believed—seems especially bad, using their annual rally as an chance to drive unlicensed rides through already-packed NYC highways and avenues. The bikers had swarmed the West Side Highway, and, according to multiple accounts, the driver of the Range Rover, a 33-year-old Asian-American man, called 911 to report their erratic driving. The bikers then blocked the guy (I'm unsure if they just assumed he had called 911, like NBC New York leads us to believe—or if the driver yelled something at them), and several bikers walked up to his car. He chose to jet off, smashing into anything in his way. An NYPD spokesman says he caused no injuries. But still, he did run over some guys.
The gang chased the Range through city streets, smashing his windows at one point, slashing his tires at another. Finally he was forced to stop. He was then assaulted. The below video cuts the entire altercation into its most tense moments.
Of course, this is all pretty awful. My initial reaction was to blame the biker gang, because, well, they have a track record here of causing chaos when moving in packs. But we'll never know what the Range Rover did to piss them off originally. The driver could have overreacted. All we know is a mob mentality is a frightening thing.