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First hate-crime charge filed in beating of white motorist in Detroit

A 16-year-old suspect in the beating of a white driver in Detroit faces an ethnic intimidation charge, authorities said Thursday.
By Frances Burns   |   April 10, 2014 at 12:53 PM   |   Comments

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DETROIT, April 10 (UPI) -- A 16-year-old suspect in the beating of a white driver in Detroit faces an ethnic intimidation charge, authorities said Thursday.

The teenager, who is being treated as a juvenile and has not been identified, is one of five people arrested in the attack on Steven Utash, 54. He is the first to be charged with a hate crime.

The four facing adult charges are being held in lieu of $500,000 bail each.

Utash, a tree-trimmer from suburban Clinton, struck a 10-year-old boy with his pickup truck on April 2 in Detroit. Investigators said that when he stopped and got out of his truck he was savagely beaten by a group of 10 to 12 men.

The boy, who allegedly ran in front of the truck, suffered a broken leg. Utash remains in critical condition in a medically induced coma at St. John Hospital.

Utash's daughter, Mandi Emerick, said Little Rock Baptist Church in Detroit planned to hold a candlelight vigil for her father Thursday evening.

“Our dad is the same. We are sill waiting to hear his voice,” she said on a fund-raising website.

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worth said a hearing is set Saturday morning for the juvenile.

Police Chief James Craig said Wednesday he hopes tips from the community will lead to more arrests. The attack has already inspired an ordinance, approved Tuesday by the city council, that would require self-service gas stations to install surveillance cameras both inside and outside.

[Detroit News]

Topics: St. John
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