5th person in custody in connection to driver's mob beating in Detroit

54-year-old Clinton Township man in critical condition after mob beating; 5 people in custody, 3 face charges

DETROIT - Detroit police have a fifth person in custody in connection to the beating of a driver who accidentally struck a 10-year-old Detroit boy.

Steven Utash, 54, has been in critical condition since the accident and beating last week on Morang Street near Balfour Street.

Complete coverage: Driver beaten by mob in Detroit

Utash's pickup truck struck 10-year-old David Harris, who suffered minor injuries. Harris had stepped out in front of the vehicle. Utash stopped and got out of his vehicle to check on the boy. He was met by an angry group of teens and men. Police say as many as 10 or 12 people confronted Utash, severely beating him.

So far, two men and a 17-year-old face charges. A 16-year-old boy also is in custody. The 5th person was taken into custody on Wednesday.

Wonzey Saffold, 30, and 24-year-old James Davis are charged with assault with intent to murder and assault with intent to do great bodily harm, and 17-year-old Bruce Wimbush Jr., is facing the same charges. The 16-year-old is being held in juvenile detention. Police have not released details about the 5th person in custody.

On Tuesday, Utash family members met with retired nurse Deborah Hughes, the woman who stepped in to stop the beating and help Steve Utash, of Clinton Township, who suffered severe injuries to his head.


'Night of Healing' to be held Thursday night

Ministers are coming together to sponsor a "Night of Healing" Thursday night at Little Rock Baptist Church.

Like so many, Rev. Jim Holley was appalled by what he saw unfolding on his TV screen when the images of Utash emerged, attacked by a mob on the east side.

"I was embarrassed and just overwhelmed by it," said Holley. "This is a defining moment for Detroit."

The family of Steve Utash will be there. Mayor Mike Duggan, who has met privately with the Utash family, will be there, too.

"This community is completely behind the Utash family. Spending time with them, I know they feel the outpouring of support," said Duggan.

Local 4's Chuck Gaidica has been asked to give a prayer as well.

"I think it's valuable for our city that we come together," said Holley.

The "Night of Healing" will begin at 7 p.m. Thursday. Little Rock Baptist Church is at 9000 Woodward Avenue in Detroit.

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