TODAY   |  October 07, 2013

Questions over undercover cop in road rage attack

The New York Police Department is looking for two persons of interest in last week’s motorcycle road rage attack, and are investigating why an undercover cop who may have been on the scene didn’t intervene. NBC’s Stephanie Gosk reports.

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>> the violent confrontation between the bikers in new york and the suv driver.

>> that's right. there's new developments including new questions surrounding the role of an undercover policeman. did he witness the encounter but fail to report it. stephanie gosk has the latest. good morning.

>> good morning, savannah. residents in the neighborhood are still rattled by what they saw on the street corner . prosecutors have video and told the court that it shows five or six men surrounding alex lien as he lay on the ground kicking and stomping him in the head.

>> reporter: the nypd is asking for the public's help in finding two persons of interest seen in these photos released overnight. this as the biker using a chrome helmet to bash in the window of alexian lien's suv. he was arraigned on first degree assault and criminal mischief. one week after the infamous altercation and beating. but his attorney says he never actually hit lien.

>> my client obviously overreacted and smashed in the window. but beyond that, he was not a participant in any assault on that victim.

>> 35-year-old robert simms was also arraigned and faces charges of gang assault and felony assault. his lawyer says he is cooperating with police but worries simms may not be fairly treated.

>> they need a fall guy . they need somebody to take the weight for this.

>> but while the investigation moves forward, the police are now coming under fire. senior nypd officials tell nbc news an undercover officer may have been on the scene as well during the final moments of the attack but that he didn't intervene because he was worried about blowing a sensitive operation. there may have been as many as five other off duty police officers who took part in the unauthorized rally as well. in the end, it was residence of this uptown manhattan neighborhood that stepped in to help the family before on duty police got to the scene.

>> this family was in clear and present danger . they could have been both killed. not just the man, the driver. but they wanted to get after the wife as well that was holding on to her child, unacceptable.

>> internal affairs is investigating the possible role of off duty police officers in that rally. they are specifically looking at why that off duty undercover officer took three days to come forward. back to you guys.

>> all right. stephanie gosk, a lot of questions there. thank