The Manhattan Brawl Case Includes Half-Eaten Plums and Empty Water Bottles

A long time passed since late September 2013, when Alexian Lien decided to floor it and escape a mob of angry bikers that assaulted him. One of the riders in that large group was Edwin Mieses, who was left paralyzed from the waist down after Lien's Range Rover ran him over.
The SUV with slashed tires and already battered was caught up minutes later in New York, and several riders continued to attack the car, smashing its windows, and dragging Lien out. He was beaten in the middle of the street, under the eyes of an undercover cop, who is now on trial, as well. The story is long and complex, and you could do well and catch up following the Manhattan Brawl tag on autoevolution.

A lawsuit started and new evidence surfaces. For starters, the most interesting new piece of evidence is that Lien admitted that his wife threw a half-eaten plum and an empty water bottle at the group of riders blocking the street.

Throwing stuff, even half-eaten plums, at people is not very polite

Lien's wife throwing the mentioned objects at the group of riders is definitely not the most polite of things. I won't support her in this action, and say she should have refrained from doing so.

Still, let's not forget what we are talking about. It's not like the occupant of a car, unprovoked in any way, decided to scold and insult a group of decent, law-abiding citizens who were seeing to their Sunday afternoon ride.

Sort out through the articles I've already published, and you'll see how decent and law-abiding groups like the one involved in the Manhattan Brawl are. A group of disorderly riders illegally occupying the entire street can hardly be regarded as unprovoking.

Suppose Lien, or for what's worth any other motorist, would approach from behind with an emergency of a certain type, from pregnant girlfriend or wife in labor, injured individual or child, an ill person who desperately needs urgent medical attention. The list of examples could span across entire pages, but this enumeration is only for illustrative purposes only.

One doesn't need an emergency as a reason strong enough to be allowed to use the public road in a legal manner, and I honestly hope even the illegal stunt group morons get this. Everybody is granted equal rights to use the road, and when an individual or group of individuals decide that they can infringe this right, we all have a problem.

Moreover, acting like a thug when observing that you hinder someone's common sense right to use the road casts a very bad light, and people who do so should expect retaliation in a form or another.

Surely, Mrs. Lien could have been better off calling 911 instead of using half-eaten plums as ammo. So far we have only testimonies and no physical proof such as footage of the action itself, but it's hard to believe that Lien's wife got out the car's window and took a baseball-like pitch with that half-eaten plum aiming for a rider.

Again, even useless, light projectiles such as small fruit or empty water bottles thrown at people is NOT NICE. But this hardly justifies brake-checking a car, especially a large SUV or assaulting it or its occupants.

In such situations, great numbers cause conflicts to escalate quickly

We all know how groups of people tend to react. When it comes to conflicts, there is certain power in numbers, but numbers often work against the better solution. That is, even though some believe that two minds have better chances to solve a problem, this just doesn't apply to a mob.

When part of a larger group, individual mentalities change, and science has proven this. Both in the real world with tons of data to back this claim and in science-infused literature, mobs usually think worse than individuals. The sum of individuals’ minds is transformed into a super-mind, but the decisions it makes are rarely superior.

Again, when the mob has to deal with a conflict, odds are things will not turn out a reasonable result. The Manhattan Brawl case was no exception; all it took was a spark and hell broke loose. In this particular case, Mrs. Lien's decision led to the escalation of what happened subsequently.

Frankly, seeing how aggressive these motorcyclists were, makes me wonder whether simply using the honk repeatedly to "ask" the riders to leave some room for the SUV to slowly pass them wouldn't have yielded the same outcome...

The new evidence shows that the Liens did make a mistake, from a tactical point of view, and this was all that was needed to have things on a downward spiral. Still, none of these would have happened in the first place if the riders would have been just a little more considerate and less impolite with the rest of the road users.

The "half-eaten plum attack" in no way justified riders attacking the SUV in the first place, brake-checking it, or being so aggressive, as improper as it was.

Just like I said on so many occasions, I will not count myself among those who say that Mieses got what he deserved. And I will not support the Liens unconditionally, simply because I don't believe throwing stuff at people in such predicaments is a viable solution.

I am just saying that everything could have been avoided, if only the riders, who - again, were acting illegally - had kept a lane free and an eye for traffic approaching from behind. That is, if the riders hadn't been completely impolite. Too bad.

Ride safely and don't behave like a mindless, impolite moron, behind the bars of a bike or the steering wheel of a car, where you might happen to be.
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