Gloria Allred: Don’t Go After the Wrong Person

Posted on October 7, 2013

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As a terrified auto driver fled from a threatening mob of motorcyclists in Manhattan, one of the bikers, Edwin Mieses, was run over and injured.  Now Gloria Allred is in the act, but I suspect she’s looking in the wrong direction for someone to blame.

As O’Ryan Johnson reports for the Boston Herald:

The lawyer for a Lawrence motorcyclist who was paralyzed after he was run over by an SUV said her client — who has a criminal record that dates back 20 years — is an “innocent victim.”  “Are people so blinded by their fears and prejudices in this case that they cannot see that before anyone laid a hand on Mr. Lien, that Edwin Mieses was run over and left severely injured?” Gloria Allred told reporters yesterday. “Where is the justice in that? … He tried to encourage people to move on and keep riding,” Allred said. “He was attempting to defuse the situation. … And he turned his back to the SUV to start walking back to his own bike. It was then, with his back to the SUV and as he was in front of it, that he was run over and crushed.”

Wow, Gloria.  Just… wow.  You seem to imply that the auto driver, Alexian Lien, maliciously committed vehicular assault upon Mr. Mieses.  You play up the fact that no one had yet “laid a hand on” Mr. Lien, while completely omitting the fact that his vehicle – carrying his wife and baby daughter – was dangerously swarmed by dozens of hostile motorcyclists, as the cyclists tried to illegally shut down major thoroughfares for their own stunt-riding, and that one of those cyclists intentionally cut in front of the vehicle and stopped short, causing a collision and forcing Lien to stop.  You conveniently omit that the cyclists then surrounded the vehicle, yelling and pounding on it.  What the hell would anyone think in this situation?

One of the bikes parked in front of Mr. Lien’s vehicle belonged to Mr. Mieses.  So… hey, Ms. Allred, what was your client’s motorcycle doing parked right in the path of a motorist on a highway?  It was either because:  a)  he was intentionally blocking the vehicle’s escape and contributing to the threat, or b) he really was trying to calm everyone down, but picked a supremely stupid place to put himself and his cycle: right in the path of a terrified driver who, along with his wife and baby, was under physical attack by a mob.  I’m guessing you want to go with option “b.”

Never mind that Mr. Mieses had no business being where he was in the first place.  He apparently has no driver’s license or motorcycle license, and as a habitual unlicensed-driving offender, his driving privileges are revoked until 2017.  Irrelevant, says Allred, because he was not on his cycle at the time he was struck.  Oh, okay then.  What was he doing standing out in the traffic lanes of the 6-lane Henry Hudson Parkway with a motorcycle?

Does this mean he “deserves” to be injured?  No.  It just means that he was present at the scene only through his own illegal actions, he was participating in an illegal rally, and he placed himself in close proximity to a mob that was threatening a family.  All bad juju, and that much, he did bring on himself.

Let us now take a little commercial break to discuss various Defensive Driving Courses.  No, no, not what you probably had in Driver’s Ed, where you learn to drive cooperatively and non-aggressively (apparently this biker mob missed that part of the class); I speak of the kind of course that is required for diplomats, attachés, intelligence operatives and contractors in war zones.  The kind that teaches you how to evade ambushes, riots, and kidnappers.  There are a lot of fancy techniques, but the big rules are:  when in normal traffic, always maintain enough distance ahead… especially at stops… to pull out and flee if necessary.  And if something is really wrong, the number one rule is:  don’t stop.*

Some security companies market these techniques to defend against road rage, as well.  Here’s an example, which points out:  “When in doubt, drive… Drive, get out of there, that’s always going to be your best defense.”  The video goes on to address road-rage responses using your firearm, and the response is lethal; it is based on the interpretation that your life is in danger.  But Mr. Lien was not armed (for which the mob of thugs should be grateful).  His only options were:  stay in place and let a mob that was already beating on his vehicle do who-knows-what to him and his family; or drive.  So he drove.   The resulting injuries were merely the byproduct of his panicked (and ultimately failed) attempt to save himself and his family from an extreme threat.

As you can see on various YouTube videos,  the mob then pursued the Lien family until they got stuck in traffic, when one biker ran up and pulled his door open.  Lien sped away again, only to be overtaken again.  One of the bikers  then bashed the driver’s window in, pulled Lien out of the vehicle, and the bikers beat him until onlookers intervened (Sergio Consuegra, thank you for your bravery).  Have a look at the vehicle after the attack:  the rear window and passenger window were also smashed.  One shudders to think how narrowly Lien’s wife and child escaped injury, as well.  One can only imagine the fear they will always feel anytime they see groups of motorcycles on the road.

What a charming troupe of primates.  They converge on a major city, illegally try to shut other motorists out of major highways, swarm and intimidate them, cause accidents, then smash up the victims’ vehicles and get violent with the victims themselves.  THAT, Ms. Allred, is what got Mr. Mieses injured.  I don’t think you will find a jury that will convict Mr. Lien, nor one that will order him to pay damages.  You want to sue someone?  Hunt down the rest of the individuals who swarmed, collided with, stopped and menaced the Lien family, creating the situation that caused injury.  I don’t use the word “terrorize” lightly, but it absolutely fits this case.

* Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said the investigation is still ongoing, but Lien’s action may have been within his rights:  “It depends on whether or not your vehicle is being attacked, whether or not you think you’re being attacked, whether or not your wife and child are in the car. You have to look at the totality of the circumstances and that’s what we’re doing.  Obviously, if you can get out of there without hurting someone, that’s what we advise you to do.  There’s no one-size-fits-all to a situation like this.”

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