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Two Detroit teens charged for viciously beating motorist who stopped to help boy he struck

By Reuters
Tuesday, April 8, 2014 13:55 EDT
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Handcuffed man via Shutterstock
 
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By Brendan O’Brien

(Reuters) – A Detroit teenager was charged as an adult on Monday in the severe beating of a motorist who stopped to help a 10-year-old boy he accidentally struck last week, prosecutors said.

Bruce Wimbush, 17, was charged with assault with intent to murder and assault with intent to do great bodily harm in the beating of Steven Utash, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said in a statement.

Utash, 54, remained in critical condition at a Detroit hospital on Monday, police spokeswoman Jennifer Moreno said.

A crowd of 10 or 12 bystanders, including Wimbush, attacked Utash last Wednesday after he struck the child, who had stepped off a curb into traffic, police said.

Police have said they determined that the collision was an accident and will not pursue charges against Utash.

“The facts of this case are unbelievably tragic,” Worthy said in the statement.

The child who was hit, David Harris, had a leg injury and was released from the hospital on Thursday, authorities said.

Wimbush was taken into custody on Saturday along with a 16-year-old, who has yet to be charged, according to prosecutors.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and city council President Brenda Jones on Friday issued a joint statement calling for calm and condemning the “senseless vigilante-style attack” on Utash.

Supporters of Utash, who is from the Detroit suburb of Roseville, had raised more than $119,000 as of Monday afternoon through the GoFundMe crowdfunding website to help cover his medical bills.

A Facebook page set up by supporters said Utash has no insurance and his family needs help to pay his medical bills.

(Reporting by Brendan O’Brien; Editing by Leslie Adler)

[Handcuffed man via Shutterstock]

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