Prepper Lessons From NY Motorcycle Attack

4 Oct

It sounds like a bad movie. A beautiful Sunday. A husband taking his wife out to celebrate their wedding anniversary. On the road. Suddenly surrounded by dozens of hostile bikers threatening them. Isn’t this the script from Mad Max?

This played out in real life to a hapless couple in NY. The incident was videotaped by one of the bikers:

Many if not most of these bikers didn’t have street legal motorcycles. Several didn’t have valid driver’s licenses. They tried to force other vehicles from using the road so they could “perform” motorcycle stunts. One fellow, Alexian Lien, in a Range Rover, was trapped in the middle of this chaos with his wife and baby.

Let’s begin by saying this was a temporary WROL situation. There was no law enforcement on the freeway for eight minutes. The bikers had shutdown entries to the freeway, blocking legitimate traffic. They wanted to turn the public freeway into their own private playground. 911 operators received over 200 phone calls about the illegal, careless, and reckless motorcyclists, who darted around cars on the freeway. The police hadn’t responded. This family was on their own.

Video before the attack shows just how out-of-control these bikers were:

A motorcyclist pulled in front of Alexian and slowed down, while looking behind him at the Range Rover. The video makes it clear his intent was to force the Range Rover to stop. When the SUV slowed down, it was swarmed by aggressive bikers.

Prepper Quiz, Question 1:

When harassed and threatened by sixty motorcyclists, if one pulls in front of you and tries to force you to stop, and you accidentally bump his bike, you should:

A) Stop and exchange insurance information with the 60 hostile bikers.
B) Keep your vehicle moving.

It’s important to know when you must throw aside the conventions and niceties of civilized society in order to survive. Too often criminals take advantage of the basic humanity of others. You stop to help somebody, and it’s a ruse to an attack. You want to shake hands, and you’re sucker punched.

It’s ironic and maddening to realize that the biker who slowed down was counting on the basic humanity of the SUV driver not to hurt him, while the intent of the bikers seemed to be to harass, intimidate, and physically assault the SUV driver. This motorcyclist was not injured.

Alexian stopped and his vehicle came under attack. Fearing for his life and the life and safety of his family, Alexian drove ahead, as his vehicle was assaulted. In his path was another stopped biker, who Alexian drove over. If he hadn’t pushed through, the video looks like he would have been assaulted by dozens of attackers. Being beaten by this many attackers could easily prove fatal. Who knows what would have happened to his wife and baby?

The motorcycle driver run over didn’t have a driver’s license. Worse, he couldn’t have a license until 2017, because he had been a habitual traffic offender.

As a fan of smaller fuel-efficient vehicles, I must admit the preppers who favor larger trucks and SUVs have a valid point: If you must ever use your vehicle as a defensive weapon, there is no substitute for size and mass. A family in a Honda Civic wouldn’t have had the same options as a family in a Range Rover.

One commentator to the video: “Best. Range. Rover. Commercial. Ever!”

Alexian sped away from the attackers and several followed. He used exceptional restraint. As the bikers closed in on him, it was clear to me, and to other posters at websites, that all he had to do was brake hard and he could have taken out a biker behind him. Swerve side to side and he could have taken out other bikers.

It’s good he didn’t do this, because it might have led to criminal charges. In my view, even those acts would be self defense: He’s fighting for his very life, and thinning the herd can give him more of a fighting chance at the end. It can discourage other attackers from continuing the attack. That’s not the way this situation is seen by the broader society. Many don’t understand that when defending your life, you must be aggressive. The best defense is a good offense.

In a total WROL with no help ever coming, you’d want to mow down as many attackers as you could. Swerve, brake, throw stuff out of your vehicle to force the bikes to wipe out. Alexian only ran over one biker because he blocked his escape.

Alexian left the freeway and hit a traffic jam, where he was physically pulled from his car and assaulted. The bikers started by smashing in his windows. According to reports, he failed to lock his car door. This isn’t surprising. When in a panic, the most basic things flee memory. This is why people in shootouts keep pulling the trigger, never realizing they must take off the safety. Commentators said he should have backed up. Same thing. Fleeing in one direction, away from danger, it’s difficult to mentally shift gears and go in reverse.

Staying on the freeway offered the least chance of being forced to stop.

When the SUV stopped, Alexian had no weapon. He was in New York. If he had the option of having a pistol, it’s clear the more shots the better. A few extra magazines in his glove box or under the seat wouldn’t have been bad. For those of us who like snub nose revolvers, this is a case where the limited capacity could be an issue. Zombie Biker Apocalypse situations aren’t supposed to happen in real life!

If things can get this bad in NY today, what would happen if there was a more permanent breakdown of law and order?

The wife of the injured motorcycle driver asked, “Who is going to pay for these [hospital] bills?” To sue the driver of the SUV, the motorcyclist’s family hired TV courtroom attorney Gloria Allred.

It’s not enough to be harassed and physically attacked, Alexian might be sued for defending himself and his family. Luckily for Alexian, the video makes it clear he was defending himself from a mob. One member of the mob was the injured driver.

A whole book could be written about the mob psychology aspects of this incident. While many posters see all these bikers as scum, it’s difficult for me to believe they’re all bad people. They are careless, reckless, and fail to obey traffic laws, putting innocent lives at risk. That is un-debatable. But when a person becomes part of a mob, they change. They don’t feel a personal responsibility for their actions. They’d do things they’d never do without the encouragement of the mob.

If a WROL situation, mobs would be a huge problem. Even under civilized times, we sell just how lawless a group of people can become when they don’t feel personally responsible for their actions.

There is a good discussion about what to do in this situation over at

The post by rjinga sums up all aspects of how to proceed rationally.

This is a great article about the myth of “stopping power” of various pistol calibers.

Here’s a good video about setting up a security recorder for your home.


One Response to “Prepper Lessons From NY Motorcycle Attack”

  1. preppernextdoor October 11, 2013 at 12:40 am #

    I was wrong in assuming no police were around. News article says one police officer participated in the attack and that as many as four might have witnessed it:

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