The 28-year-old biker accused of starting a bloody encounter between a group of bikers and an SUV driver on a New York highway says he does not feel responsible for the attack.
Christopher Cruz, a car wash worker, was captured on tape cutting off a Range Rover driven by Alexian Lien on the West Side Highway in Manhattan last month. Lien, driving with his wife and 2-year-old in the car, was eventually pulled out of his car and beaten by other motorcyclists traveling with Cruz, police said.
"I never had intentions to slow him down or cause any type of problems," Cruz told ABC News' Dan Harris in his first sit-down interview. "I don't think I feel responsible."
Cruz, a father of two, has been charged with reckless endangerment and unlawful imprisonment for his role in the incident. The charges could land him up to one year in prison.
"It has turned my life upside down," Cruz said, adding that he is worried about what could happen to him and doesn't know if he can win his case.
The video police used to charge Cruz shows his motorcycle slowing in front of Lien's SUV as Lien, 33, his wife and 2-year-old drove down the highway on their way to a wedding anniversary celebration around 2 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 29. Lien's SUV was quickly surrounded by the motorcyclists, who were doing an annual ride through the city, police said.
The group of motorcyclists then slowed down further and surrounded the SUV, causing Lien to accelerate away from the group.
In the video Cruz is seen next to the SUV looking and appears to be exchanging glances with the driver before pulling his bike out in front.
"I was trying to get his attention to make sure he sees me before I pulled in front of him," Cruz said. "He never looked back at me."
The video then shows Cruz crossing into the middle lane, looking back over both shoulders and then slowing down, resulting in the collision with Lien's SUV.
"[It was] never my intention to make him stop," Cruz said. "I didn't think I was doing anything wrong with just turning into another lane. The other bikes are going as slow as I am."
"I was looking over my shoulder to see where my friends were," he said. "I wanted them to pull in front so I could follow them. I didn't brake but when I looked over my shoulder, my hand came off the throttle a little, but the driver didn't slow down at all and bumped me."
Cruz told ABC News' Harris that both he and Lien stopped and he approached Lien for an explanation.
"He looked straight ahead and never made eye contact with me," Cruz said. "So I just went back to my bike and when I was getting on he took off."
Lien's wife, Rosalyn Ng, said that her husband feared for their lives when he decided to take off to get away from the group. As he sped off, Lien hit some of the motorcyclists, critically injuring one, authorities said.
Other motorcyclists chased Lien's SUV and then bashed in his windows, pulled him out of the car, and beat him, police said.
Lien required stitches in his face for injuries sustained in the attack. He has not been charged with any crime.
"I do feel badly for the family that got hurt," said Cruz, who suffered minor injuries in the crash and whose bike was damaged.
Two off-duty New York police officers were riding with the biker group and the NYPD is investigating why the cops apparently did not intervene, authorities said.