Nightly News   |  October 08, 2013

Undercover cop helped bikers attack SUV, police say

A detective who was part of a sensitive undercover operation was seen on video smashing the rear window of an SUV and driving off -- but didn’t come forward until days after the incident. Meanwhile, a criminal investigation is focused on the bikers who are believed to have beaten the driver of the car. NBC’s Stephanie Gosk reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> york there is late word tonight that an undercover police officer surrendered to authorities in connection with the motorcycle gang on the attack of the driver in a range rover nine days ago. the detective was seen in the video of the attack smashing the back window of the vehicle with the driver and his family inside. our report tonight from nbc's stephanie gosk.

>> reporter: in the dramatic moments before the man was beaten before his wife and child, his wife called 911. she couldn't have known that an undercover detective was already there. but to cop not only stood by while bikers attacked the suv, he may have taken part. the video posted on line and now viewed by millions and just before lien is pulled from the car. in the moments following, the bystander was seen videotaping the scene with an ipad. sources tell us they have that video. it shows the undercover cop smashing the rear window of the suv, getting on his bike and driving off. the detective, who the nypd says was part of a sensitive undercover operation , didn't come forward until three days later. telling investigators he was there, but not involved. before the video was uncovered, the head of the new york detective's union explained the challenges of working undercover .

>> it is very difficult to lead a double life . especially for those that are in those deep, sensitive undercover positions. they must keep their assignment to themselves.

>> reporter: former new york city police commissioner bill bratten says the police officers should not have taken part in the unauthorized rally.

>> these are certainly nothing that the police officers or any new york city police officer should engage in.

>> reporter: an undercover police officer who investigates the biker gangs in another state spoke on account of being anonymous.

>> the job is very unpredictable. we try to plan, and you try to coordinate for the safety of everyone involved. and sometimes things don't go exactly as planned.

>> reporter: back in new york , the criminal investigation is focused on the bikers believed to have beaten lien. police released photos of several more people of interest, while the delivery of the undercover detective remains at