A group of young, rambunctious hooligans riding on BMX bicycles were filmed in Manhattan this Wednesday attacking a BMW.
Multiple videos recorded from the scene showed the teenagers surrounding the BMW and then proceeding to punch it, pound it, kick it, jump on top of it, etc.
Inside the vehicle was Max Torgovnick, 36, and his mother, who according to the New York Daily News had been en route to drop off donations at a nearby thrift store.
Watch footage from the scene below (*Graphic content):
— NY Actions (@NY_ACTIONS) December 30, 2020
broad daylight on 5th ave / 21st St About 50 young boys on bikes blocked 5th ave traffic & trashed an SUV, riders inside, jumping on the windshield. Car had medical license plates & a man & older woman inside.#NYC#NewYorkCity #outofcontrol
— NY Actions (@NY_ACTIONS) December 30, 2020
The reason for the teens’ anger remains unclear.
Witnesses who spoke with the Daily News said that one of the teens accidentally fell to the ground as he tried to grab hold of the BMW’s handle so he could “ride” it, i.e., have the vehicle pull him and his bike forward.
Torgovnick has confirmed this account of events.
“I was at the red light. As the light turned green, I started to pull forward and I saw in the rear view mirror all these bikes coming and I wasn’t sure what was about to happen,” he told the Daily News.
“They were going seven, eight miles an hour and I noticed some of them pulling in front of the car, some of them are holding on to the door handles to get a free ride. I saw that and I was like, ‘This is a dangerous situation.’”
And so he reportedly slowed down in the hope of just letting the teens pass, but then he heard something.
“When I heard the thud, I didn’t know what happened. I didn’t know if somebody had, like, hit the car with their hand out of anger,” he said.
Apparently, one of the teens had fell to the ground and suffered a bloody lip.
See more footage from the scene below:
East 20s, #Manhattan, New York, earlier today. ~25 – 50 mixed-age teenagers on BMX bicycles descend onto the streets. Two grab onto a car driving by to catch a ride. The driver breaks & 1 of the bikers crashes into something, resulting in a bloody lip. Next is below. #FundPolice pic.twitter.com/qXowgJG9S4
— Dr. Daniel J. Winarick (@DrWinarick) December 30, 2020
“I slowed down to a stop and started to open the door. But suddenly I’m surrounded by a dozen people who start to get off their bikes and surround the car,” Torgovnick’s statement continued.
That’s when the attack occurred.
However, another witness cited by Newsweek claimed on Twitter that the attack occurred after “the driver made a threatening move towards the kids because they were taking up the lines, slowing them down.”
Nobody else has confirmed this narrative. And even if it were true, it wouldn’t legally justify the criminal retaliation that commenced.
Regardless, the assault on Torgovnick’s car “sent glass into his and his mother’s faces,” according to the Daily News, provoking his mother into screaming in terror and dialing 911.
“She started crying and screaming to the 911 operator. They heard her screaming, ‘They are going to kill us! We’re going to die! Send help please, we need help!’” he told the paper.
The teens reportedly body-slammed the BMW and began screaming “Get out of the car!” and “Roll down the window!”
“They start banging harder. Then they start ripping off the side mirrors. Then they start pulling on the grill. Then they they start taking their bikes and ramming them into the side of the car. Then they start lifting their bikes and slamming them on the car,” Torgovnick said.
“Glass was hitting us in the face. The whole ceiling collapsed a little bit and if they jumped on the glass one more time, they’d gain access to the car. At that point I saw an opening and drove one block.”
Thankfully, the kids then dispersed … for now.
“Police suspect the same group is responsible in an earlier incident where the group threw their bike at a yellow taxi in front of 261 Fifth Avenue. In that case, the 52-year-old driver got out of his taxi and one of the suspects swung a bicycle at him, hitting him in the back,” New York station WABC notes.
After the incident Wednesday, Torgovnick was told about what had happened to the cab driver.
“After it all happened and we were getting out of the car, a cab driver pulled up and said ‘I’m so glad you’re ok …because the guy on 30th is not,’” he said to WABC.
It’s not clear though that Torgovnick took the right lesson from what happened.
“We need to look forward, we need to look at what we did wrong so people can express themselves so they aren’t this angry,” he added.
But he and his mother did nothing wrong. Rather, the punk kids did something grievously wrong and must be held accountable.
As of Thursday, the New York Police Department were on the lookout for all of the perps.
Here are additional photos of the individuals.
If you have any information, call/DM @NYPDTips at 800-577-TIPS.
All calls are anonymous. pic.twitter.com/pCKNcMS55S
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) December 30, 2020
Torgovnick’s vehicle meanwhile reportedly sustained $250 in damages.