Two teenagers arrested in Detroit motorist beating

Reuters News
Posted: Apr 05, 2014 6:14 PM

By Kevin Murphy

(Reuters) - Two teenagers were taken into custody on Saturday in the severe beating in Detroit of a motorist who stopped to help a 10-year-old boy he struck with his vehicle, with the arrests coming a day after city leaders decried the attack, police said.

The two juveniles, age 16 and 17, were taken into custody without incident and are believed to have been among a group of 10 to 12 bystanders who attacked the driver, said Detroit police spokesman Sergeant Michael Woody. The two teens have not yet been charged and their names were not released, Woody said.

Steven Utash, 54, remains in critical condition in a Detroit hospital, Woody said. The child he hit, David Harris, was released from a hospital on Thursday, police said.

Utash accidentally struck Harris as the boy stepped from a curb into traffic and no charges against him are being pursued, police said.

Woody said police continue to investigate the beating and hope to make other arrests.

On Friday, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and city council President Brenda Jones issued a joint statement condemning the "senseless vigilante-style attack" on Utash.

Supporters of Utash, who is from the Detroit suburb of Roseville, are raising money for him through the GoFundMe crowdfunding website. The website says Utash has no insurance and his family needs help to pay his medical bills. As of late Saturday afternoon, more than $74,000 had been raised, exceeding the $50,000 goal, according to the website.

(Reporting By Kevin Murphy in Kansas City, Mo; Editing by Alex Dobuzinskis, Bernard Orr)