*Following an attack on a white man who accidentally ran over a black boy who darted out into traffic, Detroit police are investigating whether it could be a hate crime, despite previously saying they had no evidence to suggest such an offense.
Steve Utash, a 54-year-old tree-trimmer who is said to have driven up and down the same street, going to the same job, for the past 15 or 16 years is a husband, father and grandfather, who was brutally beaten by a gang of young black men in a poverty-stricken Detroit neighborhood after he accidentally ran over 10-year-old David Harris; who ran in front of his truck.
When Utash got out to check on the young boy, a swarm of vigilantes overwhelmed him and left him with injuries so severe it made his brain bleed.
He remains in a medically-induced coma.
Initially, police said there was no reason to call what happened to Utash a hate crime. According to detectives, because a kid was involved, the same could have occurred whether it was black on black, or white on white. But today, things have changed, and they ARE investigating the possibility of a race-related hate crime.
So far, police have arrested four suspects in connection with the attack which saw about a dozen vigilantes beat Utash, even stealing his wallet.
‘We’re widening the scope of our investigation,’ Chief Craig told The Detroit News.
‘Both our strategy and the prosecutor’s strategy is widening, and those factors are being looked into very closely. I can’t reveal some things about our investigation, but that (a hate crime classification) is definitely something we’re considering.’
The case has outraged the public, clergy and elected officials. Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan called the attack ‘senseless.’
A prominent black minister, the Rev. Horace Sheffield III, had said Saturday that it was important for community members ‘to prove that we equally deplore justice and unbridled brutality no matter what color the victim is or of the one committing it.’
Prosecutor Kym Worthy said in a statement Monday that the case is ‘unbelievably tragic,’ but declined further comment ‘because this investigation is continuing and widening.’
Security footage from a gas station Harris and friends were standing in front of shows him inexplicably running into oncoming traffic before being mowed down by Utash’s vehicle.
Bruce Wimbush, Jr., 17, was charged Monday with assault with intent to commit murder and do great bodily harm, and faces arraignment Tuesday.
Detroit police Sgt. Michael Woody said a 30-year-old man was arrested Sunday night and a 24-year-old on Monday afternoon.
That brings to four the number of people arrested in the assault of Steve Utash.
The fourth is a 16-year-old boy who hasn’t been charged but was being held in a juvenile detention facility.
Authorities have five days to determine whether someone is charged as an adult.
Utash has no medical insurance. As of today, a website set up to raise funds on his behalf has generated over $122,000.
In Michigan, ethnic intimidation is a felony that carries a possible two-year prison sentence.
Read more of this article at Mail Online.