The 54-year-old Detroit man who was beaten into a coma by a mob after accidentally hitting a boy with his pickup was showing some improvement, his family said in a statement Friday.
“Sometimes he can look at me and remember who I am and other times he can't,” Steve Utash's daughter, Mandi Emerick, wrote on the fund page the family set asking for help with the injured man’s medical bills.
Utash was attacked by several men on April 2, after he accidentally struck a 10-year-old boy who stepped off the curb and into the path of his truck. The boy suffered a broken leg but was released from the hospital the next day, Detroit police officer Jennifer Moreno said.
Utash fell into a coma when the mob “severely” beat him “with their hands and feet,” according to a statement by Detroit prosecutor, Kym Worthy.
Emerick said the cocktail of pain medications her father is on are causing him to have flashbacks to the assault, and he has been “screaming for help and ‘Please get them off me!'"
Utash was removed from a ventilator, able to breathe on his own and wiggle his toes, but “he is in and out of it with his memories,” Emerick said. “These are baby steps,” Emerick wrote.
Five people have been arrested in connection with the assault.
Latrez Cummings, 19, Wonzey Saffold, 30, James Davis, 24, and Bruce Wimbush Jr., 17, are all charged with assault with intent to murder and assault with intent to do great bodily harm, Worthy said. They are each being held on a $500,000 bond, Worthy said.
An unidentified 16-year-old is also charged as a juvenile with assault and ethnic intimidation, and the search for more suspects is ongoing, Worthy said.
“This is a long road ahead but the end of the road will be worth it,” Emerick wrote.
— Elisha Fieldstadt