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Undercover officer arrested in probe of New York motorcycle gang beating

By Edith Honan

NEW YORK (Reuters) - An undercover New York detective was arrested on Tuesday for his alleged role in the attack on an SUV driver who was chased for miles along a Manhattan highway by dozens of motorcycle riders, police said.

Detective Wojciech Braszczok, 32, was arrested more than a week after bikers pursued the sport utility vehicle, driven by a man traveling with his wife and 2-year-old daughter. Riders smashed the vehicle's windows, hauled the driver out and beat him, police said.

Video of the September 29 confrontation was uploaded to YouTube and went viral. The incident began with a fender bender between the Range Rover SUV and one of the motorcyclists traveling north on Manhattan's Henry Hudson Parkway.

It escalated when the SUV, which was surrounded by the bikers, accelerated through the crowd, injuring one rider and sending motorcycles flying.

Braszczok was charged on Tuesday with riot and criminal mischief, the New York City Police Department said. Local News 4 New York reported that Braszczok was off duty at the time of the incident, and had surrendered to police with his attorney.

Four other motorcyclists have been charged in the incident: Craig Wright, 29, Reginald Chance, 37, and Robert Sims, 35, all of Brooklyn, New York, and Christopher Cruz, 28, of New Jersey.

The Manhattan district attorney's office previously declined to comment on questions about whether the SUV driver could be charged for running over one of the bikers.

(Editing by Tim Gaynor and Peter Cooney)

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