The family of a man who was beaten by a mob in Detroit after he stopped to help a boy he had hit with his pickup truck says he's making some progress in his recovery.
In a statement posted Friday on their fundraising page, Steve Utash's daughter, Mandi, said her 54-year-old father was off a ventilator and able to breathe on his own.
"Sometimes he can look at me and remember who I am, and other times he can't," she wrote. "It's to soon to tell if he's going to have any memory loss or long term damage. The frontal lobe is what was affected the most and that is where his memories and personality are and this is a long road ahead."
Police said Utash was driving on Morang Street on April 2 when 10-year-old David Harris stepped out in front of his truck. When Utash got out to check on the boy, at least six people attacked him, police said.
Related story: Family of driver beaten by mob meet woman who saved him
The boy suffered a leg and other injuries.
Thus far, five people are in custody.
--James Davis and Wonzey Saffold
A 16-year-old is charged as a juvenile with assault and ethnic intimidation.
Complete coverage: Driver beaten by mob in Detroit
Full statement from Utash family:
He is off the ventilator and is able to breathe on his own. He is in and out of it with his memories. Sometimes he can look at me and remember who I am and other times he can't. Today when I asked him how old he is he said "I'm two years old" but he did know his name.
He does keep saying "I don't want to die I'm sorry" and "please don't let me forget you" He also keeps flashing back to the assault screaming for "HELP" and "PLEASE GET THEM OFF ME" 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. He is also on MANY pain medications which are causing him to be delirious. These are baby steps. He is able to wiggle is toes on command and answer yes or no questions.
It's to soon to tell if he's going to have any memory loss or long term damage.
The frontal lobe is what was affected the most and that is where his memories and personality are and this is a long road ahead but the end of the road will be worth it. It is so hard to see him like this. I will post if any other changes happen.
Please continue to keep my father in your prayers and thoughts.
Also we have a P.O. Box for the Trust fund if you would like to mail a check please address the envelope S. Utash and send it to P.O. Box 761 Warren MI 48090-0761
Thank you all so much, your words mean more then you know.