Terrifying vision of the moment a pack of cyclists launched a violent attack on a car with a driver and his elderly mother trapped inside has been released.
Max Torgovnick, 36, was inside the car with his 74-year-old mother when the scene unfolded on Tuesday afternoon (local time) on East 21st Street and Fifth Avenue in New York City.
Mr Torgovnick told ABC7 he had just dropped off donations to a local charity when a “swarm of cyclists” surrounded his BMW.
“We got to the point where they were in front of me and they were on either side of me and behind me,” he said.
The driver explained the bike riders had been holding onto his door handles as he drove and he stopped to allow them to pass, however as he slowed down one of the bikers crashed into the back of his car and that’s when the group became violent.
"I started to open up the driver door but I was immediately surrounded on every side by these kids that have just gotten off their bikes and they started screaming, yelling, punching the car, hitting the hood of the car, just yelling, 'get out, get out, roll down the window,' When I didn't, they started to take out their aggression on the car itself," Mr Torgovnick told ABC7.
NYC is magical this time of year. pic.twitter.com/vRchtTnmmj
— GrantB911 (@GrantB911) December 30, 2020
‘They're going to kill us’
A 14-second long video posted on social media shows the intensity of the attack as multiple people in the group can be seen jumping on the hood of the car and take turns damaging the vehicle.
One teen was seen using a bike to smash the hood of the car while another was seen jumping on the windshield, causing it to partially cave in.
In another clip filmed from a different angle, another teen is seen repeatedly punching the side of the car with his fist.
During the ordeal Mr Torgovnick said his mother was on the phone to police screaming: “We're going to die, they're going to kill us”.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said the incident was “absolutely unacceptable”.
“You have these teenagers doing something that is just wrong, period,” he told Fox News.
One teenager, a 15-year-old-boy, has reportedly been arrested over the incident and Mayor de Blasio cautioned “the others will be”, as the matter is investigated by police.
Mr Torgovnick and his mother were not injured in the incident but a taxi driver reportedly targeted by the same group of cyclists earlier was injured.
This horrifying scene on 29th St & 5th Ave yesterday - an arbitrary and unprovoked attack on this taxi driver. (the bikers then proceeded to do this to 2 other cars down 5th) Was anyone else a witness to this--please share your videos with the 13th Detective Squad! @kaptainjac pic.twitter.com/Zfnt42O3jo
— Teny Geragos, Esq. (@tenygeragos) December 30, 2020
The 52-year-old taxi driver got out of his vehicle and in vision posted from an aerial view, one of the riders can be seen picking up his bike and hitting the driver on the back with it.
The driver was too shaken to speak to media but said the damage to his cab is estimated to cost at least $2,000 (A$2680) to repair.
Mayor de Blasio told CBS2 there will be consequences for the violent attacks.
“We gotta teach our young people better all the time. It’s incumbent upon all of us, but we also have to have consequences, so there will be consequences in this case.”
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