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Driver beaten unconscious by mob after trying to help accident victim

Published time: April 04, 2014 17:47
Detroit.(Reuters / Rebecca Cook)

Detroit.(Reuters / Rebecca Cook)

​After accidentally hitting a young boy with his pickup truck and getting out to help the child, a 54-year-old man from suburban Detroit, Michigan was beaten by a mob and placed in critical condition at a local hospital.

The incident occurred Wednesday in Motor City, with nearby surveillance footage showing 10-year-old David Harris seemingly stepping off the curb and in front of Steve Utash’s pickup as the man drove by.

According to the Associated Press, Harris’ family said the boy is expected to recover from his injuries.

When Utash stepped out of his car to check on the boy, however, he was met with a gathering crowd, including 10 men that Detroit police Sgt. Michael Woody said began assaulting him.

My understanding is that it was a low-speed accident. It was exactly that — just an accident,” Woody told the Detroit Free Press. “The man did try to stop and render aid. He did everything he could exactly right.”

Woody said Utash – whose identity was revealed by the family on Thursday – is suffering from serious head injuries, adding he “is still in critical condition and it’s really not looking all that good.” The Free Press reported that the man's family was keeping vigil at an area hospital as of Friday.

So far, a preliminary investigation has found Utash did not break any traffic laws, but no suspects related to the beating have been targeted yet. Woody did say the child’s father was arrested on a warrant unrelated to the incident.

Whether or not he was actually involved in the assault, that still has yet to be determined,” Woody said.

According to local ABC affiliate WXYZ, a witness who wished to remain anonymous said, “I think [the beating] lasted about one minute and then they let him go. And then they jumped back on him again and they did it about three times, and finally someone was trying to help the guy that got beat up.”

Speaking with the AP, the boy’s uncle, Desmond Key, said the family does not know any of the people involved with the beating, adding he only showed up at the scene when told about the accident.

"The guy definitely was trying to fight back, but it was too many guys," Key said. "When he finally had enough of trying to fight back he just fell to the ground. When he fell to the ground they kicked him a couple of times and then they left him alone."

Meanwhile, David Harris’ godfather added that the family does not support the behavior of the men involved in the beating.

We don’t condone that at all,” he told WXYZ. “I told his mom and she just was like, no, we wouldn’t want that to happen. I did see it happening. But my main concern honestly was on David. But then I thought they had stopped. But I don’t know. My concern was on my godson at the time.”

Comments (58)


escapefromobamastan 06.04.2014 23:58

We should have picked our own cotton.


narva3 06.04.2014 17:13

Would be wise for whites and Asians to avoid Detroit all together.

Better yet, deny electricity, water, and food to the black areas of the city, until these wild animals learned to behave in a civilized manner.


joshua jackson 06.04.2014 14:00

Detroit is a lost city, and this guy failed to look at the reality of the situation, and ignored the common sense basics of security. He rather listen to the media and so forth that tells him, "oh no theres no danger". Its no suprise that this happened to him, it would happen to any white person caught in that area. The USA has at least 10 major citys in this same shape, and not ONE good city. So is it prejudice or common sense to arrive at these determinations? For 50 years we have given them everything they said they needed to make it different, money, cars education child care and so forth, and still no change.

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