At one point, a couple motorcyclists started driving in front of the Asian man's car and they slowed down, forcing the Asian man (Mr. Lien) to slow down. When they stopped, he had to stop.
Other motorcyclists then attacked Lien's car and when they started slashing his car's tires (cutting his tires with knives) he decided that he and his family were not safe and he drove forward to escape. Unfortunately, he drove right over a motorcyclist, who survived but is in the hospital now. It looks as if the motorcyclist will be paralyzed (unable to walk).
After Mr. Lien drove away, the other motorcyclists chased after him. When Lien had to stop his car on a busy Manhattan street, they attacked his car again, were able to pull Lien out, and they beat him badly. He was taken to the hospital but released.
One of the motorcyclists videotaped most of what happened:
Now the police are attempting to find all the members of this gang. Interestingly, the guy who was rolled over by Mr. Lien has hired a lawyer and is threatening to sue Lien. Basically, however, it looks as if Lien was simply trying to protect his family and a lot of us would have done exactly what he did.
In this latest article about what the police have been doing, we learn that there WAS a police officer on the scene where Lien was being beaten. However, he was an 'undercover' cop. This meant that he was not supposed to let anybody know he was a cop. So he stood there and did nothing while Lien was badly beaten.
(As it now turns out, the undercover police officer DID participate in the attack. Here is the latest article: http://investigations.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/10/08/20870446-undercover-cop-seen-on-video-attacking-suv?lite )
Vocabulary to help you understand the article:
to be caught in the middle of something - to be deeply involved in something
a pack - a group
a role - to have a role in something means to play a part in something
to portray - to portray something is to act as if you are something; actors often portray roles on TV, in the movies and on stage
a handler - this is a person who is a middle person between the police and the person who is undercover
harrowing - scary, frightening
Internal Affairs - the department of the New York Police Department which investigates mistakes or crimes by police officers
cases could be compromised - his cases have been ruined because now the criminals he was working with might know who he is
to swarm - a large group of bees or wasps will sometimes swarm something they want to kill, this means they attack in a large group
to a halt - to a stop
he plowed through the group - he drove through forcefully, like a plow (a snow plow pushes snow aside so cars can use the street)
being sought - being looked for
arraigned - a legal process in which the person is charged with crimes (formally accused of crimes)
turned him in - they meant 'turned himself in'
yanking - pulling
mischief - doing something wrong for the fun of it
to calm tempers and disperse the crowd - so the guy who was run over has a lawyer and the lawyer claims this guy was innocent and was trying to stop people from attacking Lien and trying to encourage everyone to leave. That may or may not be true.
Should this undercover cop have tried to save Mr. Lien from being beaten?
What would you have done? Couldn't he have phoned for police to help this man?