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Detroit beating victim's daughter says he is off ventilator, drifting in and out of consciousness

Steve Utash, driver beaten in Detroit, was breathing on his own the day after a prayer service.
By Frances Burns   |   April 11, 2014 at 3:25 PM   |   Comments

DETROIT, April 11 (UPI) -- Steve Utash, beaten into a coma in Detroit after he stopped to help a boy he hit, is off the ventilator and drifting in and out of consciousness, his family said Friday.

A post attributed to Utash's daughter on a fundraising website said that Utash has been talking and knows his name.

"He also keeps flashing back to the assault screaming for "HELP" and "PLEASE GET THEM OFF ME," she said. "He didn't seem to know what happened to him or why he was in the hospital, but again it is way to early to tell."

Utash, 54, is a tree-trimmer from suburban Roseville. Police said that a 10-year-old boy ran in front of his truck April 2 and he was attacked by a mob of 10 to 12 men when he got out to render assistance.

The boy suffered a broken leg. Utash, who was more seriously injured, was placed in a medically induced coma.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and Police Chief James Craig were among those who attended a prayer vigil Thursday night for Utash at Detroit's Little Rock Baptist Church.

"No matter how long I'm here I will not have a more special day than the day I go with you and your family to talk with your father," Duggan told Utash's daughter Thursday.

Four adults and a 16-year-old who is being held as a juvenile have been charged with the beating. Bail has been set at $500,000 for the adults, all charged with assault with intent to kill and to do great bodily harm.

The fourth adult was arraigned Friday, and a hearing was set Saturday for the juvenile. The juvenile has been charged with ethnic intimidation, authorities said this week.

Prosecutors have made no announcement about bias crime charges for the adults. Utash is white and his alleged attackers black.

[MLive]
[Detroit Free Press]

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