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Monday, April 7, 2014

Detroit Mob Assaults Steven Utash After His Truck Hits Boy

     At four in the afternoon of April 2, 2014, Steven Utash, a 54-year-old tree trimmer from the Detroit suburb of Roseville, struck a ten-year-old boy while driving his pickup truck home from work on a busy thoroughfare in an east side Detroit neighborhood. The boy was hit when he darted onto the street into the path of the slow moving vehicle. The accident happened near a Clark gas station, a Happy's Pizza place, and a liquor store.

     Immediately after the mishap, Mr. Utash pulled over, jumped out of his truck, and ran to the screaming boy. What unfolded next was caught on a Clark gas station surveillance camera. 

     Ten or more men quickly surrounded Mr. Utash and began punching and kicking him. As he lay on the pavement being beaten, Mr. Utash repeatedly said he was sorry and pleaded with his attackers to stop. With his wallet, paycheck and cash gone, and his cellphone and equipment stolen from his truck, the bloodied Mr. Utash stumbled toward the gas station to get help. One man who tried to help him was himself assaulted by the mob. 

     Paramedics transported the ten-year-old to St. John's Hospital where a doctor treated him for scrapes, bruises, a swollen lip, and a sore foot. None of the boy's bones had been broken. Under the circumstances, his injuries were minor and he would be fine. 

     At the same  hospital, Physicians placed Mr. Utash into an induced coma. According to reports, he suffered serious brain injury that will require a prolonged period of recovery. 

     Outraged citizens in the Detroit area, through an Internet program called Go Fund Me, raised on Mr. Utash's behalf, $96,000 in just a few days. The campaign has drawn more than 2,000 donors. The hard working victim of the unprovoked vigilante attack earns a modest living, and does not have health care insurance. It is estimated that Mr. Utash's hospital costs are $20,000 a day. 

     On April 5, 2014, Detroit police officers arrested two teenage boys believed to have been involved in the gang assault. The unnamed suspects are 16 and 18-years-old. In the wake of the attack, Detroit police chief Mike Duggan asked residents of the east side neighborhood to remain calm, and people outraged by the assault to have patience while detectives work to identify all of the attackers and thieves.

     In June 2014, one of the suspects, 18-year-old Bruce Wimbush, pleaded guilty to aggravated assault.

     Although Mr. Utash is white and all of his attackers are black, the chief of police said the crime was not motivated by race. Many people consider that analysis nothing more than politically correct rhetoric.  If Mr. Utash had been black, would he have been so viciously attacked and robbed? If Mr. Utash were black and all of his attackers white, would the media race baiters be out in full force? This is a disturbing case. 

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