Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Hate crime not even sniffed at by Media: Detroit Police Arrest 4 in Brutal Beating of White Truck Driver

DETROIT (AP) — Two more suspects have been arrested in connection with the brutal beating of a motorist who hit a Detroit boy last week, as police investigate the possibility that the assault was a hate crime, Detroit Police Chief James Craig said.
Craig said the investigation into the beating of 54-year-old Steve Utash by a mob has widened.
Monday's arrest of two men, ages 24 and 30, brought to four the number of suspects in custody in connection with the beating, which has gained widespread attention and an outpouring of support for Utash and his family. Two teens were arrested early Saturday.
In a joint statement last week, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and City Council President Brenda Jones called the assault a "senseless vigilante style attack." Craig, though, said the beating doesn't appear to have been vigilantism.
"I see no indication, based on where we are in this investigation, that this is an act of vigilantism," he said.
Utash was attacked by up to a dozen people last Wednesday after his pickup truck struck a 10-year-old who stepped into the street on the city's east side, police have said. When Utash got out to check on the boy, he was severely beaten by a group of people "with their fists and feet," according to a news release from Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy.
Worthy on Monday announced charges against Bruce Edward Wimbush Jr., 17, on of the teens arrested on Saturday. Wimbush faces charges of assault with intent to murder and assault with intent to do great bodily harm. He is expected to be arraigned Tuesday in Detroit's 36th District Court.
The assault with intent-to-murder charge against Wimbush is punishable by up to life in prison, and the bodily harm charge is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
Wimbush was deemed to be "incorrigible" by the juvenile court in 2007, 2008 and 2010, court records indicate.
A 16-year-old also was being held in the case. He had a truancy incident, according to juvenile court records.
"The facts of this case are unbelievably tragic," Worthy said in a statement Monday. "We have charged this defendant with a capital offense. I will not comment further because this investigation is continuing and widening."
Utash, who recently moved to Clinton Township from Roseville, was beaten unconscious and has been hospitalized in a coma with critical head injuries, according to police and his family.
John Roach, Duggan's spokesman, said the mayor met with members of Utash's family on Monday. He said Duggan wanted to know how the family and Utash are doing.
Roach said he was not in the meeting, but was told "it was a very, very good meeting."
U.S. Rep John Conyers Jr., a Detroit Democrat, released a statement Monday, saying the beating left Detroiters asking how "such a senseless act could occur."
"I have full confidence that the Detroit Police Department and Wayne County Prosecutor's Office will conduct a comprehensive investigation to resolve this deeply troubling case and determine whether state or federal hate crime laws are implicated by the incident," he said in the statement. "My heart goes out to the family of Mr. Utash, and I will be in touch with them in the coming days."
An online fund-raiser for Utash at http://www.gofundme.com/81r9sk had raised more than $116,000 toward his medical expenses as of Monday evening.
Anyone with information relevant to the case is asked to call Detroit Police Department at (313) 596-2260.
Staff Writer Katrease Stafford contributed to this report
(c)2014 the Detroit Free Press
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