Black teens arrested in beating of pickup driver

 Man is in critical condition after being severely beaten by an angry mob in Detroit. The man hit a young boy. When he pulled over to check on him, he was attacked by a group of men. The boy who was hit is expected to recover.

Detroit police have arrested two teenagers in connection with the brutal beating of a motorist that has sparked outrage across the nation.

stevenutash_small Black teens arrested in beating of pickup driver

The teens, ages 16 and 17, were arrested without incident early Saturday morning in the area of the beating on Detroit’s eastside, according to Detroit Police spokesman Sgt. Michael Woody.

Woody said the teens, who are from Detroit, were part of the group that beat Steve Utash, 54, on Wednesday, after his pickup hit 10-year-old David Harris, and he stopped to check on the boy. Woody declined to discuss a motive for the attack.

 Police have said the boy was struck after he stepped into the path of the pickup, and that Utash, who as of Saturday afternoon was in a medically induced coma at St. John Hospital and Medical Center with multiple head injuries, was not at fault.

The 10-year-old’s family could not be reached Saturday, but a family member told the Detroit Free Press on Friday that David, who was also taken to St. John for treatment, remained hospitalized with scrapes on his knee, swelling on his lip and foot problems.

Woody called on the others involved in the beating, believed to be a total of 10 to 12 people, to turn themselves in.

“To drag this out any further is really futile,” Woody said. “We’re getting closer and closer. We need to put this thing to rest for the sake of the family and citizens.”

Woody said the arrested teens have been cooperative so far, and that police are preparing warrant requests for possible charges against them.

Utash’s daughter, Felicia Utash, said that her family is happy to hear about the arrests and hopeful it brings them one step closer to justice for her father. She said Detroit Police called her sister, Mandi Emerick, this afternoon to inform them about the arrests.

“It’s more than good news,” Felicia Utash said. “I was starting to lose hope, but the detectives and police did their job and worked hard, which is great because my dad deserves justice.”

As of Saturday afternoon, the family’s Gofundme campaign to raise funds to cover Utash’s medical expenses has raised nearly $65,000 — more than the $50,000 the family originally sought.

“It’s more than amazing because people have big hearts,” Felicia Utash said. “It’s really overwhelming to see that much, but it’s great to know that when push comes to shove, people still come together.”

The beating has sparked condemnation and outrage and prompted Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and Council President Brenda Jones on Friday to ask for calm and patience. In a joint statement, they decried the “vigilante style attack,” which they said would not be tolerated. They noted that Utash had done the right thing by stopping to check on David.