(Detroit) Two teens have been arrested after a Detroit man was brutally beaten in an attack many believe, was in part, racially motivated.
According to WWJ-TV, Steven Utash was driving down a busy street when an 11-year-old boy ran out in-front of his truck.
“He did exactly the right thing. He stopped his vehicle, he got out and he tried to render aid to a small child. He did exactly what he was supposed to do… It was a small child and it was an accident; is what it was.”
Witnesses say Utash immediately stopped and tried to help the child, and that’s when he was attacked.
Utash is in critical condition, the child had a broken leg.
A 16 and 17-year-old are now in custody.
As many as 10 young and older mean repeatedly beat Utash, while others stole his wallet and everything from his truck.
Detroit Police confirmed those who attacked Utash were all black and Utash is white.
State Rep. Alberta Tinsley Talabi (D-Detroit), who is black, told WWJ-TV the incident does appear to have racial overtones, adding, “it’s wrong.”
Utash’s family also believes race played a factor and witnesses took advantage of the situation to beat and rob him.
“You know, it’s like you go in Detroit and you’re white, you don’t belong. Seriously. I’ve been pulled over by police before and they’re like ‘Get back across 8 Mile,’ like I’m not supposed to be over there, like I’m not allowed to go in Detroit’ said Gary Lundy who is Utash’s son.
“If it went on any longer, my dad wouldn’t be in the hospital right now, he would be in the morgue. The way he looked, I am surprised that he is alive,” said Lundy. “He has bruising over his face, his eyes are swollen, I believe it’s his left eye that is completely swollen shut. He also has a big, huge knot on his forehead like he got hit with an object, not a fist.”
A nurse who saw the attack stepped in, stopped the beating and helped as best she could.
“I kept his hands down and everything so he could be comfortable,” said Deborah Hughes. “He had the biggest gash on his head I ever seen – he was bleeding from the mouth and he was unconscious when I first got there … being a registered nurse, I thought I could go out and help him.”
An on-line fund, found Here, has been set up to help the Utash family with the escalating bills.