Driver beaten unconscious by mob after trying to help accident victim
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.”